DWF advises Arch Northumberland on its largest North East deal of the year

Arch Northumberland has completed its largest acquisition to date with the £78m purchase of Manor Walks Shopping Centre in Cramlington.

The 350,000 sq ft shopping centre, which is anchored by Sainsbury’s, Asda, Wilkinson and Vue Cinema, was bought from Hammerson. The price is understood to reflect a net yield of 7.1%. 

Arch intends to immediately improve and extend the centre to provide bigger, better retail and leisure facilities and additional car parking. 

Peter McIntyre, Chief Executive of Arch, commented: “We have a unique opportunity to purchase the best retail asset in Northumberland and to use our local knowledge and adjoining ownerships to add not only value but also social and economic benefits. Cramlington is a fast growing town and Arch Group, Northumberland County Council’s development and investment company, will be at the forefront of its future success."

Arch won the deal ahead of strong competition from institutional property investors and the transaction was concluded in just three weeks from agreeing terms to signing the contract.

Leading legal business DWF advised Arch on the deal. The real estate team was led by National Head of Real Estate Toby Askin and real estate partners Adam Heather in Newcastle and Lorraine Reader in London, with support from solicitors Carly Cornell and Gregor Munro and colleagues across the construction, planning and tax teams. Lorraine commented on the deal: “Completing on a transaction of this size post-Brexit highlights the level of confidence still in the market. DWF’s ability to provide specialist retail expertise from London with local expert knowledge from our Newcastle team is testament to our network of offices that enable efficient and seamless cross-team working.”

BNP Paribas Real Estate also advised Arch on the purchase. David Furniss, head of BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Newcastle office, said: “Arch demonstrated detailed commercial property knowledge and professionalism in the acquisition process and completed a complicated purchase in record time. It's the largest commercial deal in the North East this year and we are delighted to have been part of the acquisition team.”

Savills represented Hammerson.

Toby Askin

Partner - Head of Real Estate group

I am a Partner and the National Head of the Real Estate group.

Lorraine Reader


A partner in the real estate team based in London, I specialise in acting for developers, funders and investors with a particular emphasis in acting for investment and funds clients on portfolio acquisitions.


Adam Heather

Partner - Head of Real Estate & Executive Partner (Newcastle)

I am a Partner in the firm’s nationally renowned Real Estate team, working in both the public and private sectors.