About Thornley Groves Estate Agents, Manchester

An overview

Established in 1991 from a single estate agency branch in Altrincham, today Thornley Groves has 9 offices and employs over 120 staff. In 2016 we sold £256m of property, let over 2,000 properties and manage more than 3,000 houses and apartments for landlords across North, South and Central Manchester.


The early years...

The business was founded in 1991 in Altrincham by Michael Groves who opened a second office in 1993 in Hale Village.

The third office was opened in 1994 when the firm’s CEO and joint shareholder, Jason Watkin, joined and invested in the company.

Growing and changing

In the year 2000, our then 3 branch firm expanded into Manchester’s burgeoning city centre residential property market where it quickly expanded, opening new city centre branches in the key residential quarters of the city centre. We refer to these quarters as Southern Gateway, Manchester Central and Salford City Point.

We now proudly boast 3 branches in Manchester city centre, bringing us to a total of 8 branches across the City, South and North Manchester. 

Originally Thornley Groves handled residential sales only.  In 1995 we commenced dealing with residential Lettings and Property Management, which now accounts for 50% of our total income.

Location and innovation

Our state of the art office on John Dalton Street is the most modern and innovative in Manchester City Centre. A 12 foot high video wall showcases our services and gives our properties and developments the highest possible profile. Located just off Deansgate and close to the Spinningfields Development, has been chosen to take advantage of the increased footfall in this bustling area of the city.

Thornley Groves' nine offices all utilise and benefit from our fully cloud-hosted telecoms and IT setup. We have made substantial investments in our use of technology so staff can effortlessly hot-desk to any computer in any branch 7 days a week. This gives them the ability to work more flexibly and responsively when communicating, marketing and managing.

With the ability to access our entire property sales, lettings and management databases from any of our offices means our team can deliver the highest possible levels of service to customers and always be one step ahead of other, less advanced estate agents.

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    Partnering with Lomond Capital

    In September 2013 Michael and Jason decided to partner with fast-growing Lomond Capital.

    Lomond Capital is a Scottish based company with a focus on residential property management across the UK.

    Lomond Capital acquired a majority stake in Thornley Groves in return for financing to grow the business through the acquisition of other agents in the Sales, Letting and Property Management sector.

    Lomond Capital

    Michael has become Regional Chief Exec at Lomond Capital and Jason is now CEO of Lomond Manchester being charged with the task of delivering transformational change, growth and enhanced services to Vendors, Buyers, Landlords and Tenants in the whole of the Manchester conurbation.

    Our growth has necessitated the up-scaling of our Senior Management team and now includes; Andrew Seldon (Managing Director) employed since 1998, Matthew Smith (Sales and Lettings Director) employed since 2007 and Keeley Child (Director of Property Management) employed since 2008.

    Growing for the future

    The business is now actively seeking to acquire other businesses to drive this growth.

    In November 2013 Thornley Groves acquired Penny Ashton Sales and Letting Agents in Manchester city centre, and in February 2014 acquired the Manchester City Centre Property Management business of Allison & Co. Later on, in July 2014, the city centre property management side of Vital Space's Manchester business was acquired. At the end of 2014 Shepherd Gilmour including Sales, Lettings and Property Management was wholly acquired by Thornley Groves. May 2015 saw the acquisition of Barlow Costley in Swinton taking the number of branches to 9 across the company.

    Thornley Groves is actively seeking additional consolidation and expansion opportunities.

    Contemplating an exit from your business?

    Owners of estate agents with a focus on letting and management in and around Manchester who may be contemplating an exit should feel free to connect with CEO Jason Watkin directly and in confidence if they would like to explore the opportunity that Lomond's and Thornley Groves' growth plans present.

    Some things haven't changed

    Despite the business’s continued expansion, the company is still very much an independent enterprise managed in a reassuringly hands-on manner by its founding Shareholders and fellow directors.