Newcastle Building Society purchases flagship Cobalt premises

Newcastle Building Society, the largest building society based in the North East, has purchased the premises it currently leases at 21 Cobalt Park in North Tyneside for an undisclosed price from Highbridge Properties.

The purchase comprises 99,294 sq ft of grade-A office accommodation on a prime site on Cobalt Park and will provide additional space for the Society, which created 118 new jobs last year, to grow further.

Newcastle Building Society announced significant growth and solid financial results in its end of year announcement last week, and has enjoyed continued success on the back of its ongoing investment in improving the service it provides to customers across its branch, telephone and online channels.

Chief executive Andrew Haigh said: “The purchase of our Cobalt base reflects our commitment to North Tyneside and the region, and with the potential to create even more jobs, is great news for local employment. We’ve operated from Cobalt for the past nine years; it’s a great place to work and we want to be here for the long term and to continue to invest in and grow our business.”

Cobalt 21 is home to the Society’s award winning and fast-growing third-party savings management business, Newcastle Strategic Solutions. The Solutions business provides multi-channel savings management services for banks, building societies and other global financial institutions from the North Tyneside location.

The purchase means that Newcastle Building Society will become landlord to Hewlett Packard, with which it currently shares its Cobalt premises.

Cobalt Park is the UK’s largest business park and comprises 2m sq ft of commercial space, housing over 14,000 staff. The Park is a flagship scheme in the regeneration and economic development of the North East, and the most successful office park in the UK.

Garry Ward, director of Highbridge Properties, said: “We are proud to have played a small part in helping Andrew and his team with the continuing success story of Newcastle Building Society, the first tenant to occupy the southern part of Cobalt, and are delighted to have sold the building to an existing occupier.

Cobalt is now 90% let and home to 20 major occupiers across multiple sectors including IT, financial services, utilities, renewables and the public sector, including some of the largest names in the corporate world including Proctor & Gamble, Santander and Accenture.

Aidan Baker, director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, which advised Newcastle Building Society on the transaction, added: “Newcastle Building Society’s decision to purchase Cobalt 21 and become the second owner-occupier on the Park is a significant commitment, and is further testament to the ongoing success of Cobalt Park.

“The buildings are of the highest specification and enjoy unrivalled public transport links, staff benefits and on-site amenities.”

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