Barnett Waddingham, a leading independent UK professional services consultancy focussing on risk, pensions, investment and insurance, is taking 14,000 sq ft of prime office space at developer MRP’s City Square House in Leeds on a 15-year lease.

This is the one of the most significant pre-let office deals in the city during the past 12 months. It was brokered by the Leeds office of global property consultancy Knight Frank.

Barnett Waddingham, who are relocating from within Leeds, are paying £37 per sq ft with a 10-year break on the 15-year lease.

City Square House is a 140,000 sq ft speculative development and the only remaining undeveloped property fronting City Square.

Its stunning design, with extensive use of glass and steel, will provide an unrivalled presence in both City Square and the adjacent Leeds Station.

The prime workspace will comprise Grade A office accommodation over 12-storeys including low carbon credentials, terraces on the 4th, 5th and 6th levels and extensive cycling, electric vehicle and e-bike charging point facilities.

Practical completion of this iconic building, built by Design & Build contractors McAleer & Rushe, is scheduled for early next year.

Barnett Waddingham will be joining global law firm DLA and Markel, a leading SME-focused expert in providing integrated insurance, tax and legal services, in the building. Together, these two companies have taken a combined total of 103,000 sq ft.

Angus Monteith, Development Director at MRP said:

“We are delighted to welcome a company with such an excellent reputation as Barnett Waddingham to City Square House. This latest signing means the development is now 85% pre-let with a final 22,000 sq ft available.

“Securing a 15-year pre-let deal is a very significant and positive statement of intent in the long-term future prosperity of office space in Leeds and, indeed, in urban centres throughout the UK. As we near completion of construction in early 2024, we expect this strong demand for the best workspace will continue.”

Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at global property consultancy Knight Frank in Leeds, advised the landlord.

“The Barnett Waddingham deal completes a magnificent hat-trick of high calibre companies moving into City Square House. City Square House is the iconic new office development that the Leeds market has been waiting for. It is in a prime position, just off City Square and next to Leeds Station, and the remaining available space of 22,000 sq ft will help to address the pressing need for quality Grade A office space in the city centre.

“This is a significant deal for the city of Leeds, a vote of confidence in the city and its economy. Amidst this challenging economic climate, this is just the boost the whole region needed and a genuine cause to be optimistic about the commercial property sector in Yorkshire.

“The regeneration of the city centre of Leeds is now paying dividends for the city’s economy and reputation and City Square House, so brilliantly developed speculatively by MRP, is a shining example of what can be achieved with vision and courage.”

Earlier this year, Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council’s Chief Executive, said:

“It’s brilliant to see the progress being made on City Square House which is one of the most prominent locations in Leeds city centre. Further investment into commercial space, record cranes on our skyline and the growing appeal of Leeds to global businesses, shows how our great city is really continuing to thrive economically.”