In 1997, Alstom was demerged from GEC Marconi and floated on the UK, USA and French stock exchanges. Europe wide it held over 6 million square metres of operational facilities in manufacturing, logistics, research and development and offices.
It had no real estate asset management capability. The UK portfolio was 1.2 million square metres. I led a team at Cyril Leonard that was engaged on a retained long term consultancy basis to provide a real estate strategy for the company and established an asset management template in the UK
We created a ‘virtual’ Real Estate Strategy Board chaired by the Country President with the Finance Director, Legal Counsel and HR Director as members and this ‘Board’ has directed all property matters in the UK company for 18 years. This work led to a restructuring and redesign of Alstom’s Europe wide real estate strategy and I acted as consultant to the Company’s headquarters in Paris in shaping this process.
For Alstom I have Project led a multi disciplinary property team at Cyril Leonard which has delivered over £ 130 million of asset realisations in the UK and € 500 million in 6 other EU countries; £ 100 million of development projects and a pipeline of £ 100 million of projects in the UK where Occupational Costs have been reduced by over 40% and all surplus land and buildings disposed of with a proper management database in place for the retained facilities portfolio.
I have been involved in a number of significant M&A transactions advising on the real estate side and been involved in major transformational workplace changes.
The UK’s largest train rolling stock modernisation facility
On 29th June 2017 Alstom Transport opened the biggest and most sophisticated centre for train modernisation ever in the UK. In a major boost to the rail industry in the North West of the country, this facility was officially opened by Lord Prior of Brampton – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and some of Alstom’s newest apprentices and graduates. I initiated the site search process leading the professional team at Cyril Leonard, to final site selection and negotiations for the site acquisition and development through to completion.
With over 13,000 square metres of space, Widnes is the largest rolling stock modernisation facility in the UK. Its vast size, and close embrace of ‘Industry 4.0’ principles, makes it ideal for work on intercity trains. Alstom has started to work on the €28 million contract to re-paint the 56-strong fleet of Class 390 ‘tilting’ Pendolino trains, which are used by Virgin on the West Coast Main Line. The first Pendolino train have already been through the modernisation halls. Industry 4.0 features of the contract include innovative Virtual Reality painting simulators that the team are being trained on and use to validate the work.