By Richard Baker BSc MRICS
WITH Northamptonshire's central location and being one of the most accessible areas of the country, it is no great surprise that its reputation as an established and leading logistics and transport hub continues.
Eddie Stobart Logistics has taken on the entire first phase of speculative development at Panattoni Park, close to Junction 16 of the M1 motorway, in Northampton as a pre-let. The company, which already occupies over 1.25m square feet of warehousing space within a 15 mile radius of the scheme, has agreed to lease the additional 625,000 square feet - taken to fulfil new contracts - for a term of 15 years. Subsequently, the three units have reportedly been sold by Panattoni to Gazeley, for a price believed to be in excess of £80m, with construction work expected to be completed by September 2020.
Panattoni is to now submit reserved matters planning applications for the second phase of the Park, offering opportunities on the three remaining plots which provide units from 260,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet.
The international supply chain company, Advanced Supply Chain Group, which works with retail and manufacturing brands such as Puma, Mike and Adidas, has recently opened a new logistics warehouse in Corby creating 150 more jobs and bringing its total local employment numbers to more than 500. The Yorkshire-headquartered company has invested £2m in the new 240,000 square foot facility, alongside its existing site at Eisemann Way in the town, which opened in 2012 and has since had £20m of investment. The increased capacity will allow the company to accommodate 100 million more units, with the site already processing significant volumes after securing contracts for value-added services, fulfilment and returns with leading e-commerce, omni-channel and high street retailers.
Up to 600 new jobs could be created in the town after plans were submitted during the summer to Corby Borough Council for the development of a new 460,210 square foot warehouse scheme on a 23-acre site off Curver Way by Solihull-based Warmflame Developments. This site is one of the last undeveloped plots of the former Tata Steel site on the Willowbrook East Industrial Estate.
Work is now nearing completion on Corby's biggest ever warehouse, set to provide 400 new jobs. Mulberry Developments began work in the spring on a purpose-built, high-bay warehouse of 945,375 square feet at Midlands Logistics Park for the multi-national home appliances company BSH Home Appliances Limited, part of the Bosch Group. The development is being brought forward as a joint venture between landowners Mulberry and Frogmore Real Estate Partners, and will be used by BSH for storing new products and spare parts, and house the company's contact centre and customer service division which is currently based in Kettering. It is anticipated that BSH will be operational from February 2020.
A 20-acre site at Steel Road could also bring forward a further mid-box scheme. The land, adjacent to Priors Hall major urban extension, is understood is be under offer and had previously secured outline planning permission for an| employment scheme.
Planning has also recently been secured and development under way at Centrix Business Park in Corby for the construction of a multi-million pound food manufacturing facility. The property is being developed by CWC Group, on behalf of one of Europe's leading bakery operator, Bakeaway and comprises a total of 92,881 square feet, incorporating a state-of-the-art food manufacturing and 20,000 square feet of Grade A offices. The new facility will serve as the UK headquarters for the food manufacturer and is a fundamental investment, which will enable the company to continue its expansion strategy across the UK, supplying many of the top supermarkets.
Kettering's newest business park has recently reached practical completion with enquiries lining up for discussions on the available units. Cransley Park is a prime new 270,000 square foot business park development, situated on a 22-acre gateway site, comprising five high quality industrial/warehouse units from 25,000 to 100,000 square feet. The scheme has been speculatively developed by brownfield regeneration specialist St Francis Group and the Richardson family; demonstrating the confidence in the Kettering and A14 corridor market - with the occupational market continuing to perform well. The completed units are being offered for both lease and purchase.
Many logistics companies have divided opinions on how Brexit is likely to impact on their businesses. Regardless of which direction the negotiations fundamentally take, products will still need to be stored and undoubtedly will be fuelled by consumer on-line shopping requirements.
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