A Fast-growing Chester based holiday rental company has signed up for a landmark commercial development as part of an expansion plan.

Sykes Cottages, the UK’s largest independent operator of holiday rental properties, has confirmed its relocation to One City Place – the flagship office scheme by Muse Developments in partnership with Cheshire West & Chester Council.

The firm, which has been based in Chester for over 25 years, said the new location was a key part of its ongoing investment strategy to support its expansion.

One City Place is the first office building, which forms part of the wider £120m, 3.5-acre City Place development - the focal point of the city’s new Central Business Quarter.

Ultimately City Place will provide over 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, including retail and leisure facilities, as well as 200 residential units and new public realm, when it completes in 2028.

Sykes has signed a 10-year lease for 24,000 sq ft over two floors at the state-of-the-art building – more than double its current space - which is equipped with next generation IT security, high-speed fibre and microwave internet technologies.

The building is also the first in Chester to be rated BREEAM “Excellent” thanks to its sustainability credentials.

Sykes is now working with leading interior design and space planning consultancy Overbury, with a view to start locating its 300 employees to the building from September.

Earlier this month, Sykes – which manages over 10,000 holiday rental properties – reported annual sales of £27.3m for the year ending September 2016, an increase of 24 per cent – with bookings in the year to date also up 23%. It expects to serve over 1m holidaymakers this year, up from 815,000 last year, and plans to increase that further to 2.5m, by 2020.

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages, said: “Chester has been the heart and home of the business for almost three decades, so continuing our commitment to the region
was important to us and our people.

“One City Place ticked all the boxes for a high-growth, technology led business like ours, giving us access to talent from across the region thanks to its excellent transport connectivity and a location that’s both tech enabled and sustainable.” 

He added: “This is a major piece of our investment strategy and will help us deliver our commitment to being best choice for property owners, offering the best experience to customers and operating the best brand and platform in the market.

“It’s a fitting head office for our vision and ambition of being the number one provider of UK holidays.”

Founded 26 years ago, Sykes Cottages is one of the best-known brands and most respected operators in the holiday cottage rental agency market, having won the British Travel Award for best large self-catering agency for four consecutive years.

Sykes’ founder and chairman, Clive Sykes, has also just been shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2017, recognising his contribution to the business’ financial performance and culture.

GVA and CBRE acted for Muse Developments and Bolton Birch represented Sykes Cottages on the deal. 

City Place is part-funded by a £4.8m development loan from the North West Evergreen Fund and £1.4m grant from the European Regional Development Fund.