UK - The £7.39bn (€8.48bn) Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the largest local authority scheme in the UK, has been given the green light for a major office redevelopment project in Manchester city centre.

Manchester City Council has given planning consent to a joint venture between Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF) and development company Argent.

GMPVF is the real estate development arm of the pension fund, which aims to undertake local development projects, including the redevelopment of Elisabeth House office block alongside Argent.

The project, which was given the go-ahead last week, is part of a wider redevelopment of the St Peter's Square area in Manchester.

Elisabeth House - (pictured, right) and widely considered as a public eyesore according to officials - will be replaced by a 270,000 square foot, 14-storey office building with restaurants and cafes on the ground floor. (See earlier IPE RE story: Manchester seeks property agent)

The building, which will become 1 St Peter's Square, has been designed by Glenn Howells Architects and will aim to meet the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainability.

GMPVF was established by Greater Manchester Pension Fund in 1990 and has developed one million square space of commercial real estate since then.

The pension fund has £546m in real estate investments, and these are predominantly directly-held assets in the UK.

It has 65 properties throughout the UK with a value of £375m, including high street shops, retail warehouses, shopping centres, city centre offices, offices in business parks, and industrial estates.