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Insurer snaps up space in prestigious city office

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An entire floor of a building with one of the most prestigious addresses in Birmingham has been snapped up, by global insurance firm Markel.

In a deal arranged by joint agent and leading real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, the insurer has taken the third floor of Cathedral Place, on a new lease.

The 2,035 sq ft floor the firm has taken has, according to Cushman & Wakefield senior surveyor Cameron Thomson, one of the best views overlooking St Philips Cathedral that the city has to offer.

Cathedral Place itself is a part modern, part period listed building, which has been extensively refurbished by landlord Canada Life in recent years.

Other occupiers include other professional businesses, such as Springboard Corporate Finance and recruitment specialist Greenwell Gleeson. One of the other two remaining floors is under offer to another potential tenant, which would leave only one floor unoccupied.

On the ground floor is a branch of Caffè Nero and a refurbished reception area, and there is also basement space that the landlord intends to convert into a bicycle facility for occupiers, which will include secure racking, lockers and showers.

Markel has been in Birmingham for 17 years and is moving to Cathedral Place from a neighbouring building in order to make use of a more modern office environment. Some nine staff will be making the move, with further hires anticipated in the coming months.

Andy Partington, UK sales director at Markel, said: “We were keen to occupy the right space at the heart of Birmingham’s central business district and were not willing to compromise on quality as we grow in profile and number in the city. We were keen to locate ourselves amongst similar professional firms.”

Charles Warrack, of Johnson Fellows, who advised Markel, said: “Cathedral Place fitted the bill perfectly for my client, ahead of other shortlisted options and will allow them to focus on their core business in a comfortable and smart environment.”

Cameron Thomson said: “The attention to providing a high-quality space is serving the building extremely well, attracting the global name of Markel as well as a further occupier currently in legals for the fourth floor.

“Feedback from existing occupiers is also positive, as Canada Life continue to improve the offering at the prominent building, which we are confident will soon attract a tenant for the remaining floor, which has a mix of open plan modernised space and traditional meeting room areas.”

Joint agent with Cushman & Wakefield was GBR Phoenix Beard and Johnson Fellows acted for Markel.


Cameron Thomson,
Senior Surveyor
+44 (0)121 710 5789