Agency acquires Leeds city centre rivals as part of expansion

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LINLEY & Simpson has accelerated its expansion programme with the acquisition of one of Leeds city centre’s longest-established letting agencies.

The residential sales and letting specialists, which has a network of 11 interlinked offices across West and North Yorkshire, has taken over the entire rental portfolio of fellow independent agency, HERE.

The deal – completed for an undisclosed sum – will see all the properties formerly managed by HERE merge into Linley & Simpson’s city centre branch in Swinegate, which has just posted a record year.

Director, Will Linley, said: “These extra homes will help us keep pace with an ever-increasing demand for rental properties in the heart of the city – a trend that is poised to continue throughout 2016 and beyond.

“Not only will it give greater choice to tenants, it will also offer landlords that are new to us the opportunity to access our growing database of people actively searching for a new home to rent.

“The acquisition of HERE is a natural progression for us. All the properties we have inherited will fit seamlessly into the growing portfolio managed by our Swinegate branch, which has had its busiest year since it opened its doors in 2005.

“This is a further signal of the strength of the Leeds city centre market and its appeal as a prime location to work and live.

“With developers’ cranes returning in growing numbers to the skyline, and the long-awaited opening of a new-look Leeds railway station drawing ever closer, renters are targeting the city in record numbers.”

HERE, which was based at Bridge End, specialised in city centre rentals with a strong portfolio of properties on and around the sought-after waterfront.

Mr Linley added: “Linley & Simpson is fast approaching its 20th anniversary, but HERE has been a name that has been synonymous with Leeds city centre living for a lot longer. “We are delighted to acquire a company with such heritage.”

The acquisition is the fourth since the owner-managed agency secured a £1.8m funding package less than a year ago through Santander’s Breakthrough Programme, designed to support Linley & Simpson’s strategy for future growth.

It plans to use the funding to double the size of its business over the next three years through more acquisitions and the development of its residential sales service.

When it launched, Linley & Simpson operated two offices and employed just four staff.

Now, more than 40,000 lets later, it employs 155 staff and has a branch network that now extends to Leeds city centre, Roundhay, Horsforth, Chapel Allerton, Harrogate, Ripon, York, Wetherby, Wakefield, Ilkley and Saltaire.

Waterside Residents Association members Judi Graham, Conrad Plowman, John Broadbent, Margaret Plowman. and Susan Martin. (1708051AM3)

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