Warner Estate is to massively ramp up its exposure in the north-west after being picked for an innovative tie-up with a regional development agency

Warner, through the Ashtenne Industrial Fund, which is co-owned with Morley Fund Management, is understood to have agreed to pay more than £120m for a half-share in the NWDA’s 885-property portfolio.

The Northwest Development Agency wants to work with the Ashtenne fund to bring forward the next generation of key commercial sites in the north-west through the full utilisation of the land in the portfolio.

The portfolio, which was put on the market earlier this year through King Sturge Financial Services for £100m, was awarded to the Ashtenne fund last week after a three-way shortlist pitch against regeneration specialist St Modwen and north-west developer Langtree.

The NWDA has created a 50:50 public-private partnership to hold the investment property, as well as asset manage and undertake the development of the land and property.

The portfolio covers 42 estates in the north-west, which are mainly business parks and industrial estates around Merseyside and West Cumbria.

NWDA chief executive Steven Broomhead told Property Week: ‘In a rigorous selection process [the Ashtenne fund] proved itself to be the best fit as an organisation whose expertise can maximise our regeneration ambitions in respect of this portfolio.

‘The [public-private partnership] will generate resources to develop the portfolio and create further opportunities for businesses. We are confident that the [partnership] will be a major contribution to the economy in the north-west region.’