Mock up of how a fully developed NOMA area might look

Today we’ve announced the sale of our stake in Manchester’s NOMA development (the area where 1 Angel Square, Miller St and The Federation are located) to Hermes Investment Management. The money raised from this will now be put towards the ongoing transformation of our core businesses.

We’ve been in a 50/50 partnership with Hermes since 2014 to develop the area. We’ve put in place a strong masterplan for the regeneration of the area into a new neighbourhood – with office, housing, retail, leisure and public spaces. Now it’s time to hand over the reins to a specialist company as property development is not central to what we do.

This in no way affects our current tenancies of 1AS, The Federation or Miller St.

You can read the full press release about this deal.

Join the conversation! 31 Comments

  1. Cant be much left to sell now!

  2. As a MEMBER (supposedly) run business, where was our vote, I wonder how many would have said yes

  3. “We’ve given £20m to local communities”. Really? Isn’t it our member customers who’ve done that?

  4. The Member Council needs to be closer to some of the larger investment decisions. I am nervous that appropriate scrutiny is not in place. When NOMA and 1 AS were planned it would not have been conceivable that we would be taking on a £10m lease (Federation) on a building that we used to own so quickly. We cannot be an e-commerce incubator, we do not have the speculative investment funds that large venture capitalists have. We have seen the signs for how many tins of beans we need to sell to pay for an overnight stay in a hotel. That is a really important fact. Our business runs on such small margins.

  5. very worrying that Insurance is not considered a “core customer businesses” no matter how many times you were prompted by posters to confirm it

  6. Does Co-op Beds count as a “core business”?

    And yes what about insurance!

  7. And insurance???? This is surely one of our “core” businesses

  8. What an absolute shame.

    Another instance of selling the cash cow. NOMA may have been a JV, but it’s our Manchester heritage that’s so inherently Co-op. All our beautiful old buildings that we no longer have any say over their future. Plans are all well and good. Hermes can now do as they like though, can’t they?

    Nice to also see the core business being ‘Food and Funeralcare’. What about our Insurance business?

  9. This sale is so short sighted ! One example why Lincoln Co-op is so successful, as they very rarely lease properties and try to buy all their properties for their portfolio. In fact they own nearly have the properties in the city and are investing in a new shopping centre and bus station.
    Our Co-op is so short sighted.

  10. What about insurance?

  11. You can only sell the family silver once! Short term gain but long term loss?

  12. The investment in NOMA was valued at the last annual report and accounts at £22m, which appears an exceptionally low value considering the land and buildings assets that the co-op placed into the JV initially. If that is all that was achieved on sale of the investment then we would have been better of maintaining the investment. Concentrating on core business makes me fume. This business used to operate 1100 pharmacies, be one of the UK’s largest farmers, own Sunwin our cash management operation, own Priory Motor Group, manage many crematoria. Crown jewels all lost. I’ll ignore mentioning the non-food business of CRS as that was a bit of a nightmare…

    • Totally Agree. I don’t see how NOMA detracts from our core business; its a relatively small team on the Co-Op side. Is this helping fund the Nisa deal I wonder?

  13. Invest in our core customer businesses like Food and Funeralcare! What about insurance?

    • I’d like to second this. If real estate isn’t a core enterprise despite the fact that the Group has owned property for a large part of its history, then it is difficult to see where insurance sits going forward…

  14. Preservation of Victorian buildings? Does this mean hermes will now reastore the Ducie bridge pub to what is was – a hugely popular and historical real Manchester pub? Also, is there a deal for new GI headquarters within the NOMA development – Gary Hueting said not so long ago that new sites have been looked at in the area – any update on this?

    • I don’t know how far back you have to go to remember the Ducie bridge as anything other than a grotty hole, but I’ve worked here a decade and its been nowt but grim.

      • Where did I say it wasn’t grim ? i said real unlike the rentt-a-kit bars you see across town that are so popular with hipster types!

    • The answer to this must be confidential as well……

  15. Nice to sneak this out just before Christmas

    • Hi Matthew. We’re not trying to sneak anything out. As the deal was signed this week, we’re telling the story as it happens. It’s also appeared in the Financial Times and the Sun today too, and we expect it’ll be picked up by other media too. ^Kevin

  16. Seriously, what happened to doing our best for communities? NOMA is regenerating a run down area of the town centre, bringing jobs and benefiting people all over Manchester as well as probably being potentially very lucrative for the group. Instead we want no part in it and presumably would rather pay for the right to supply Nisa stores for a limited period.

    • Hi MMT. Good to see your passion about doing the right thing for communities… and that’s exactly what we are doing – you only need to look at the £20m we’ve given to 8,000 local causes across the UK this year to see that. We’ve also been heavily involved in shaping the masterplan which the NOMA site will continue to develop in line with – providing jobs, housing and a new destination for Manchester.

      The Nisa deal is focused on how we can expand our Co-op range to more customers and use the scale of the buying power we’ll have to look for better deals for our customers and members. That is part of our core business. ^Kevin

  17. ‘Not central to what we do’ maybe, but have we got assurances that our old buildings, including our War Memorial, will be treated right and with respect?

    Also, interesting that we don’t disclose how much we have sold our old estate for…..

    • Hi Paul. We’re also passionate about retaining the history that exists in the NOMA area. We’ve developed the masterplan alongside Hermes which has a focus on preserving the heritage of the area – restoring the Victorian buildings and saving the architecture for future generations. I’ve checked in with Hermes for you on the war memorial and they’ve confirmed that it’ll remain protected.

      Sorry though, we won’t be talking about the specific details of the deal value – that’s commercially confidential. ^Kevin

      • Commercially confidential? How will this appear in the books when it comes to end of year results?

  18. This sounds very worrying. Why have we sold out now? We might not be property developers, but surely we would have benefitted from future revenue this massive investment and regeneration would have brought?

    • Hi Kay. We have sold now because we want to invest in our core customer businesses like Food and Funeralcare, where our members can see value every day in terms of the quality of products and services they receive. Since we re-launched our Co-op just over a year ago, we’ve benefitted from being able to focus and invest in the things we our experts in. We’ve started to deliver and share real Co-op value again for our members and their communities and with the proposed Nisa deal in Food, we’re continuing on this path. ^Kevin

      • Thanks for replying Kevin. It will be interesting to see the financial results as to how much we’ve got from this deal, and then to keep an eye on how much NOMA generates in years to come that we’ve missed out on which could have been used for our Co-op too. Merry Christmas!

      • And insurance??

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