The Sector Skills Council for the electricity, gas, waste management and water industries - Energy & Utility Skills - has expanded into new, refurbished offices at Friars Gate, Solihull, through Birmingham-based property consultants, GSD and joint agent Savills.

Situated in a prominent location on the A34 Stratford Road, close to Junction 4 of M42, Friars Gate has recently undergone a £1.5 million upgrading programme comprising internal and external reconfiguration works, including the addition of a brand new reception area and full refurbishment of the vacant offices.

Energy & Utility Skills has taken a suite of 8,700 sq ft on a ten-year lease at a rental of £19.50 per sq ft, complete with free parking for 45 cars, a significantly higher parking ratio than other schemes in the area.

The move has allowed Energy & Utility Skills to incorporate a new conference facility which, given its proximity to the M42, allows easy access by delegates from all parts of the UK.

Energy & Utility Skills' finance director, Neil Fray, said: "Expanding our presence at Friars Gate was driven by two factors.

"Firstly, we already benefited from the refurbishment of the entrance and it creates an impressive environment to welcome our employers and stakeholders, who travel from all over the country.

"In addition, our 40 resident staff and 20 field personnel enjoy both the location and the facilities offered on-site. The flexible space and modern telecoms infrastructure supports home-working and also provides hot-desk facilities on-site which combine effectively with office-based activity."

Jonathan Ottewell of GSD added: "Energy & Utility Skills' expansion of their operation at Friars Gate endorses a scheme which is clearly offering the right product in the right place at a price which offers genuine value for money.

"Their decision is a clear indication that Catalyst Capital LLP has got the formula right for the M42 corridor - a scheme that attracts professional occupiers seeking modern, efficient working space."

The 70,000 sq ft scheme is 75 per cent let.