September 12, 2012

Law firm Gordons advises Bradford’s Touchstone Centre on sale and lease back of HQ and purchase of former hotel

Advice from Yorkshire law firm Gordons has enabled Bradford Methodist organisation Touchstone to sell and lease back its headquarters and buy the city’s former Beechfield Hotel and MacRory’s Bar.

The deal’s total value – including the cost of the property bought and sold, plus the price of a refurbishment project at the newly-acquired site – will be around £900,000.

The Touchstone Centre is based in a four-storey Victorian end-terrace house in Bradford’s Merton Road, while the former hotel and bar are in Easby Road. The latter site will now be renamed Touchstone at MacRory’s, as the entire building – which will still be available for community use – was known locally by the name of the bar alone.

Touchstone describes itself as weaving a listening community, aiming to contribute to the development of Bradford by helping people of different faith understand each other and taking time to listen to the struggles people have.

A team from Gordons’ commercial property department, led by solicitor Simon Mydlowski, advised Touchstone on drafting and negotiating the agreement for sale, purchase and lease. The firm also liaised with its client’s project manager, Ashley France, of Bradford-based chartered building consultancy Batty France, and surveyor Justin Robinson, of Bradford and Keighley firm Hayfield Robinson, to progress the deal.

David Howarth, of the Touchstone Centre, said: “We’re very grateful for the help Simon and his colleagues provided. They reacted quickly to meet our needs in a deal which is hugely important in enabling our organisation to continue growing and benefiting the wider Bradford community.”

Touchstone employs six staff members, has a volunteer base of 10 and is managed by the Touchstone Council, drawn from around the Methodist district and chaired by a former president of the Methodist Church. It is funded from sources including the Methodist circuits and district, the church centrally and charitable trusts.

Simon Mydlowski said: “We were very pleased to help with this important deal, which will enable Touchstone to extend the excellent work it does. All involved in the transaction were also contributing to Bradford’s regeneration, as the old Beechfield Hotel and MacRory’s Bar has a prominent position but had become dilapidated, so its refurbishment will enhance the local area’s appearance.”