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LONDON-Morley Fund management has pulled out of the Bristol Alliance, the consortium put together to develop a 1.5 million sf mixed-use extension to Bristol’s Broadmead retail district. The move follows Morley’s decision to sell its neighbouring Galleries shopping centre to the Mall Fund, and was described by fund manager Ian Womack as a ‘repositioning’ of Morley’s interest in the city.Morley is the second institutional backer to walk away from the Bristol project. Last year Henderson Global Investors withdrew, citing a desire to lessen its exposure to ‘high-risk’ funding situations. And in another blow to the project, anchor tenant Selfridges withdrew after its takeover by the Canadian-based investor Galen Weston.But the two remaining partners in the consortium–Land Securities and Hammerson—say they are committed to taking the project forward. They have repaid the investment made to date by Morley, and are buying a number of properties owned by Morley that form part of the site. Francis Salway, Chief Executive of Development at Land Securities, said: “We have made very good progress in advancing the Broadmead development andobtained all necessary planning consents. We now look forward to working withHammerson and the City Council to deliver this exciting new development.”Consent was granted in December 2003 for 1.5 million sf of development including 900,000 sf of retail space. The scheme will provide new retail, cafes, bars, restaurants, residential apartments and public spaces in the heart of Bristol, as well as leisure facilities and offices. It is anticipated that works will commence on site in mid 2005 and the new development will open in 2008.

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