Stratton Creber Commercial (SCC) is celebrating a successful start to 2020 by being named one of the most active agents in the south west region.

The Plymouth, Truro and Exeter-based firm achieved second place in the retail category of the industry awards established by trade journal EGi to recognise firms leading the way in the commercial sector.

The accolade follows a long line of retail deals and landmark instructions for the company where staff are reporting a positive start to the year with strong levels of enquiries across all sectors.

It is easy to see why SCC was the highest placed independent company in the region’s retail sector, second only to a national operator.

Its Plymouth agency team was behind the finger-licking deal at Old Town Street that saw fast food giant KFC taking a lease on the former Salt Rock building.

Also in Plymouth City Centre, the firm was involved in the relocation of HMV from Drake Circus Shopping Centre to the Cornwall Street unit that was formerly occupied by electronics retailer Maplin.

Managing director Chris Ryland says: “I am delighted with our award and pleased to report a great start to the year for Stratton Creber Commercial.

While the high street is going through a challenging period, retailers are taking opportunities to realign their town centre presence and overheads. As a result,  some are moving to sub-prime locations to benefit from competitive rental packages while others are stepping up into stronger pitches from secondary locations.”

The new year brought unexpected new life to Plymouth’s office sector, with strong enquiry levels from local and national occupiers for both inner and outer city locations.

At Royal William Yard, where SCC is retained by award-winning developers Urban Splash, commercial occupancy rates are at their highest in the development’s history.

Samworth Brothers, best known for their Ginsters brand, recently moved into new offices at the Brewhouse, previously home to the River Cottage Canteen, while developments for 2020 include the arrivals of innovative cinema operator Everyman Cinema, popular burger chain Hubbox and a brand new restaurant and bar concept set to transform the Slaughterhouse.

Further lettings are soon to to be announced on the new Melville development. The striking Royal William Yard centrepiece is being transformed into an inspiring range of workspaces above a mix of boutique retail, famous names and breakthrough restaurants.

In another state-of-the-art development, SCC was responsible for the letting of an entire floor of Notte Street’s The Merchant to education provider MLA College (Marine Learning Alliance Ltd). Other occupants are set to follow suit there – and at nearby Princess Court – in 2020.

While the office sector has been static for a number of years, there are now some green shoots emerging and, with landlords and developers taking advantage of the relaxation of permitted development rules, conversions of stock into residential units are reducing over-supply and fuelling rental increases.

SCC also reports continued demand across the industrial freehold sector where owner occupiers are acquiring commercial property within their self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) or small self-administered schemes (SSAS).

Units at Eurotech Park, Burrington Way, are proving popular. Of the thirty 1000 sq ft commercial units that were brought forward in February, eleven are already under offer.

Ryland adds: “There are some really exciting projects on the horizon and we continue to be inundated with new instructions.”

SCC already holds the title, ‘Most Active Agent in Devon’, winning the county award – also from EGi – for the tenth year running last year.