Remodelled 1960s flagship office block snapped up by global investment firm for £36.5m

February 15, 2024

A landmark Bristol office building that is home to some of the city’s fastest-growing tech, life science and education businesses, has been sold for £36.5m.

Programme, pictured, the 174,387 sq ft office building on All Saints Street, has been extensively redesigned and refurbished since being developed in the 1960s.

Formerly known as The Pithay, the curved eight-storey building was originally a base for various government departments. It has also been home to call centres, private offices and most recently a creative arts collective.

Now new owner London-based international investment firm BNF Capital, which worked on what is its first acquisition in Bristol with Morgan Capital, plans to continue to invest in Programme to make it one of the city’s most desirable business addresses.

The building was previously owned by London-based Resolution Property, which bought it in 2016 at a time when the market expected it to become Bristol’s first PRS (private rented sector) residential scheme.

Instead Resolution decided to follow its earlier success at Colston (now Beacon) Tower, which it had acquired and then extensively refurbished, to create a stylish business hub.

Resolution’s comprehensive refurbishment has created a modern workplace spread over Programme’s basement, ground and eight upper floors, with café facilities, educational space, a cycle hub, highly specified showers, changing facilities and a drying room.

As a result, it has attracted technology, life science and education occupiers such as semiconductor innovator Xmos, cyber security firm Immersive Labs, digital data flow management company Cegedim, architects Buckley Gray Yeoman, and Open Bionics, which has made the world’s first medically approved 3D-printed bionic arm.

BNF financial analyst Colin Opp said: “We’re delighted to have completed the purchase of Programme from Resolution, which marks our first acquisition in Bristol – an incredible city, and BNF couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of its story.”

Morgan Capital head of investment Ken Edwards added: “This is an important purchase as it shows our continued commitment to buildings with excellent fundamentals, in core locations, that can deliver long term value.

“We look forward to continuing the transition of Programme into one of Bristol’s finest and most sustainable office buildings.”

Savills acted for Resolution while Mackenzie Real Estate acted for BNF and Morgan Capital.

Savills’ Bristol-based director in UK investments, Andrew Phillips, said: “The comprehensive refurbishment of Programme has resonated with occupiers due to its location and access to amenities whilst offering a unique working environment with the added features of a building with scale.

“We expect the building to continue to capture the strong occupier market in the coming years under new ownership and as surrounding development projects are brought forward.”

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