Freeman Grattan Holdings to open new head office in Bradford

Freeman Grattan Holdings to open new head office in Bradford

Freeman Grattan Holdings to open new head office in Bradford

First published in Bradford Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Business Reporter

Retail giant Freeman Grattan Holdings has secured a deal to open a new head office and house around 300 staff in the centre of Bradford.

The German-owned company has paid £2.13 million for the freehold of a Grade II-listed former wool warehouse on the edge of Little Germany.

The mail order and online retailer will transfer office staff from its Lidget Green base, where Grattan has had a presence since 1934. This year marks the company's centenary.

The site at 66-70 Vicar Lane is a 39,300 sq ft five-floor building which has stood empty for several years but was refurbished last year to provide modern offices.

As exclusively revealed by the T&A, FGH chief Koert Tulleners persuaded bosses at the family-owned Otto parent group to keep the FGH UK base in Bradford.

The move will see nearly half the company’s remaining ful-time staff relocating to the city centre with the rest remaining at Listerhills where FGH has an operations and distribution base.

Koert Tulleners said: “We're excited about this development which is good news for our staff and for the city. We hope to move to Little Germany between September and November this year after completing what will be fairly extensive internal works to turn the Vicar lane building into a 21st Century online retailing base. Externally it will continue to look the same as it does now.

“We’ve worked closely with Bradford Council, who have been very supportive and helped us find a suitable site. I'm pleased that this move will contribute towards the regeneration of the city centre.”

Coun David Green, Bradford Council executive member for economy and regeneration, said: “Clearly we're delighted that we've been able to retain the head office of this important company in Bradford and protect jobs.

“It demonstrates once again that the council is willing to work with existing businesses as well as inward investors. The deal will also provide a major boost for Little Germany by bringing people back into the area.”

Property consultant Mike Armitage, of Armitage Associates, who advised FGH on the deal, said the fact that the company had bought the freehold of a Grade II-listed building was significant and showed the company’s commitment to the city. Specialists at the Bradford offices of lawyers Gordons and property consultants Rex Procter & Panthers, are also advising FGH.

The sale of the building on behalf of previous owners WP Carey & Co,, was handled by the Leeds office of Colliers International Colliers’ Jonathan McGrael said: “We are delighted to have sold this prominent, well specified building to Freeman Grattan Holdings which is committing to stay within the city and plans to relocate its HQ operation from Ingleby Road.”

It was the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since Provident Financial signed up for its new base on Thornton Road in 2009.

Comments (13)

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8:26am Thu 19 Apr 12

hollymae says...

Great news for the City - Hopefully they will extend and increase the sponsorship of Odsal once the current agreement expires!!!
Great news for the City - Hopefully they will extend and increase the sponsorship of Odsal once the current agreement expires!!! hollymae
  • Score: 0

8:54am Thu 19 Apr 12

Joedavid says...

It is awhile since I visited Thornton Road and Ingleby Road area where there was a lot of buildings used by Grattan are these in use or empty?
It is awhile since I visited Thornton Road and Ingleby Road area where there was a lot of buildings used by Grattan are these in use or empty? Joedavid
  • Score: 0

9:04am Thu 19 Apr 12

wooly 2708 says...

I know the main Grattan building on Thornton Road and near Preston Street is still working. Not sure about the other buildings up from Four Lane Ends.

I think this is excellent news. We need more companies to move into the city centre and give it life. More company employees equals more buying lunch from local shops, perhaps doing bits of shopping after work and overall more money being spent in the centre.
I know the main Grattan building on Thornton Road and near Preston Street is still working. Not sure about the other buildings up from Four Lane Ends. I think this is excellent news. We need more companies to move into the city centre and give it life. More company employees equals more buying lunch from local shops, perhaps doing bits of shopping after work and overall more money being spent in the centre. wooly 2708
  • Score: -1

9:10am Thu 19 Apr 12

citizen smith says...

Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment.....
This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs.

It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking.

Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area.

Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009.
Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment..... This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs. It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking. Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area. Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009. citizen smith
  • Score: 0

9:27am Thu 19 Apr 12

Albion. says...

citizen smith wrote:
Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment.....
This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs.

It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking.

Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area.

Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009.
A well balanced appraisal, And what of Lidget Green?
[quote][p][bold]citizen smith[/bold] wrote: Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment..... This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs. It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking. Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area. Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009.[/p][/quote]A well balanced appraisal, And what of Lidget Green? Albion.
  • Score: 0

9:30am Thu 19 Apr 12

Avro says...

Great to hear of an old building coming back to life, but disappointing that no additional jobs are forthcoming.
Great to hear of an old building coming back to life, but disappointing that no additional jobs are forthcoming. Avro
  • Score: 0

9:57am Thu 19 Apr 12

angry bradfordian says...

citizen smith wrote:
Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment.....
This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs.

It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking.

Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area.

Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009.
Yes, and the one in 2009 also involved the transfer of staff from another (now empty) building in Bradford.

So the good news story is actually '300 workers NOT losing their jobs'- still enough of a story for Cllr Green to come out with a quote for though!
[quote][p][bold]citizen smith[/bold] wrote: Just looking behind the headline spin for one moment..... This is a transfer of existing staff rather than 300 new jobs. It's good that office staff and all the benefits that they bring are returning to the city centre... but good luck with parking. Bradford Council's business landmark area of Little Germany has become a bit desolate since the Wastefield bombsite cut it off from what's left of the city centre. Hopefully this might reverse fortunes, although even the council are moving staff out of the area. Incidentally, it's quite shocking that this is the most significant property deal in Bradford city centre since 2009.[/p][/quote]Yes, and the one in 2009 also involved the transfer of staff from another (now empty) building in Bradford. So the good news story is actually '300 workers NOT losing their jobs'- still enough of a story for Cllr Green to come out with a quote for though! angry bradfordian
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 19 Apr 12

Clowny says...

Agreed with the points above, it’s good news for sure, especially for the city centre. It is a valid point made already that even the last move by Provident was simply a relocation so as yet we haven’t seen any new employers coming into Bradford centre. There aren’t 300 spare spaces for parking in Little Germany so what’s the plan there?
.
All in all, a small step in the right direction.
Agreed with the points above, it’s good news for sure, especially for the city centre. It is a valid point made already that even the last move by Provident was simply a relocation so as yet we haven’t seen any new employers coming into Bradford centre. There aren’t 300 spare spaces for parking in Little Germany so what’s the plan there? . All in all, a small step in the right direction. Clowny
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Thu 19 Apr 12

EthelBurger says...

Bradford city centre will never improve until the Council wake up and realise that poor parking combined with the close proximity of the retail parks with free parking are what have made it the mess it is today. Unfortunately I'm not sure that even free parking would now be an incentive to come back to the city centre.
Bradford city centre will never improve until the Council wake up and realise that poor parking combined with the close proximity of the retail parks with free parking are what have made it the mess it is today. Unfortunately I'm not sure that even free parking would now be an incentive to come back to the city centre. EthelBurger
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Thu 19 Apr 12

basil fawlty says...

For me the main point about this article is that the company is not actually announcing that its leaving Bradford like so many others have done over the last 25 years. Whilst this is very good news I don't think we will see a big rise in the number of new businesses and jobs in Bradford until Westfield starts building again.
For me the main point about this article is that the company is not actually announcing that its leaving Bradford like so many others have done over the last 25 years. Whilst this is very good news I don't think we will see a big rise in the number of new businesses and jobs in Bradford until Westfield starts building again. basil fawlty
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Thu 19 Apr 12

sajad727@msn.com says...

Good news
Good news sajad727@msn.com
  • Score: 0

11:40pm Thu 19 Apr 12

legallyblonde says...

Great news, it was tragic when so many were made redundant from Anchor House.
Great news, it was tragic when so many were made redundant from Anchor House. legallyblonde
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Fri 20 Apr 12

arhmen aleg says...

Great news.grattan and Empire(gone)were big employers.
Noone shops that way (by catalogue)anymore where someone would call and take your tuppence a week.
The old Lidget Green site is currently being demolished.
But its great to see this firm adapting to the 21 st century way of shopping and making Bradford their ONLINE shopping headquarters.
Perhaps some skills still exist in Bradford from all those years of providing a similar retail service.
Given that is the way retail is going is Westfield the answer in the way it was planned for ten years ago?So much has changed.
Our kids may never Know a department store.
They are all brought up to be on the computer almost all the time for everything.Look at the pub industry partly as a consequence.
People dont socialise as they used to.Were all keyboard warriors.
Bradford could be at the forefront of this digital shopping revolution.
Personally I preferred Brown Muffs or Busbys.
But they are no longer there and neither is the cooperative emporium or Lingards.
We are dinasours and Bradford needs to realise that and attract the suits back into the city.
A great small step
Great news.grattan and Empire(gone)were big employers. Noone shops that way (by catalogue)anymore where someone would call and take your tuppence a week. The old Lidget Green site is currently being demolished. But its great to see this firm adapting to the 21 st century way of shopping and making Bradford their ONLINE shopping headquarters. Perhaps some skills still exist in Bradford from all those years of providing a similar retail service. Given that is the way retail is going is Westfield the answer in the way it was planned for ten years ago?So much has changed. Our kids may never Know a department store. They are all brought up to be on the computer almost all the time for everything.Look at the pub industry partly as a consequence. People dont socialise as they used to.Were all keyboard warriors. Bradford could be at the forefront of this digital shopping revolution. Personally I preferred Brown Muffs or Busbys. But they are no longer there and neither is the cooperative emporium or Lingards. We are dinasours and Bradford needs to realise that and attract the suits back into the city. A great small step arhmen aleg
  • Score: 0

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