Promotions strengthen firm’s position in property market

Development Land and Lease Advisory teams boosted

24 November 2015

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Two Senior Surveyors have been promoted to become Associates within the firm. The appointments of Robert Evans (right) within the Development Land team, and Ryan Pratt to work in the expanding Lease Advisory team, reflect their growing contribution to respective areas of the business over the past couple of years. They also come at a time when the firm is strengthening its position as the property expert of choice in the South Wales commercial property market.

Robert Evans advises major clients on acquisitions and disposals of land to realise development value on residential and commercial sites, as well as advice on planning, economic, legal, engineering and environmental related matters. Sites include greenfield and brownfield land across South Wales and England. Robert comments: “The demand for development land in urban areas continues to be strong, while increasing build costs means that the margins in areas outside of the major cities of South Wales remains tight. We are finding the outlook in England far more positive than in Wales, where there seem to be more major hold-ups due to the planning process.”

Ryan Pratt’s appointment sees him specialising in Lease Advisory work after several years acting as The Crown Estate’s coastal agent for Cooke & Arkwright in Wales - a role that included Landlord & Tenant and Leasehold advice. Ryan comments: “The improvement in the wider economic outlook has also brought a steady recovery in commercial property rents. As a business we see an opportunity to grow the dedicated lease advisory service within the Business Space sector, whilst also developing the work already carried out by the well-established Retail department.”

Pictured: Ryan Pratt and Robert Evans

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group