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Banking on A Big Deal? Why Some Barclays Requirements Sound Better Than Others

So it is the start of a new week and along comes the news that Barclays Bank could be about to land its 600K SF Northern office requirement at U+I's £900M Mayfield scheme, close to Manchester Piccadilly station.

But don't get stressed. OK, the requirement has gone elsewhere. But monster Barclays deals come along fairly regularly in Manchester — all may not be lost yet. So take a walk back through the last few years to see which requirements from Barclays went as first expected, and which did not, with the help of the muscial hits of the era.

October 2005: Artic Monkeys, I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys

The Artic Monkeys — fave band of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown — were strumming their stuff when, in October 2005, Barclaycard was reported to be about to end a 12-month search for 100K SF of Manchester city centre offices.

The 12-month search had seen a hectic and competitive race to nab Barclaycard with both Argent (at Piccadilly Gardens) and Allied London (at Spinningfields) in the final run off.

Everyone thought Allied London had won what was, at the time, a very big deal. I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor — "and don't believe the hype" lead singer Alex Turner warned. This was excellent advice, as events proved.

March 2007: Girls Aloud v Sugarbabes, Walk This Way

Girls Aloud

Things did not go well at Spinningfields. In March 2007 Barclaycard pulled out of the Allied London deal which had, in any case, shrunk to 80K SF.  Walk This Way was what Barclays did not do, although it was the name of the girl-power hit that topped the U.K. chart's that month.

After this there was a quiet period for Barclays office requirements in Manchester, thanks to a banking crisis that Barclays squeaked through.

In 2009 Barclays kissed and made up with Allied London taking 36K SF for its commercial banking division.

January 2013: Britney Spears and Will.I.Am Scream & Shout

Britney Spears

The recession is over and it is time to dust down those Manchester office requirements and Scream & Shout.

Barclays launched a 250K SF Manchester office consolidation requirement in January 2013. Advised by Arup the aim was to find a roost on a 10-year lease, and they gave themselves a generous two years to sort out the relocation.

In the event the outcome was more modest as they relocated staff from Quay and Mosley streets. In 2014 Barclays agreed to take 80K SF at what was then Carlyle's 4 Piccadilly Place, having ruled out Ask's First Street.

May 2017: Despacito (Remix) Justin Bieber, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee

Justin Bieber

This Bieber ballad topped the chart in the month it was disclosed that Barclays were mulling a 600K SF Northern office consolidation. CBRE were advising this time and the steer was that this would go out of town, with the Airport City business park strongly tipped thanks to its proximity to Barclays large Radbrook campus, Knutsford. Radbrook's future was reported to be a significant factor in decision-making.

Now, in February 2018, it is being reported that Barclays are close to a pre-let with U+I.

Despacito — remixed or not — means "slowly" in Spanish. U+I will hoping that it is not appropriate to the Barclays requirements story.

Happy listening, and thanks to the U.K. Official Chart for the pop picks.