Viewpoint - 15/06/2011

Big sheds occupiers look to A1

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As warehouse operators experience difficulties in finding suitable sites along the M1 corridor, the South Yorkshire/North Nottinghamshire belt of the A1 is proving an attractive proposition. Rob Whatmuff, Associate Director of Industrial and Logistics in Yorkshire explains.

Restricted supply along M1 forcing occupiers to look for alternative sites

Prime industrial locations along the M1 Corridor such as DIRFT, EMDC, and Swan Valley have witnessed significant success over the last few years.

Big name occupiers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and 99p Stores have all taken large units, while Amazon, Next and Nobia Plc are believed to have large requirements to satisfy. However, the restricted supply of large existing sites and those coming forward has created a realisation amongst some developers that occupiers may consider looking further afield for the next available opportunity.

As a result of the ongoing lack of speculative development, combined with the plethora of deals which have taken place in recent months, the M1 corridor does not necessarily have the large development plots capable of housing the new breed of Regional Distribution Centres and National Distribution Centres of 500,000 sq ft plus.

Development sites along the A1 attracting big name occupiers

As a result, developers are beginning to show more confidence in sites to the east of the region, along the A1. Big name occupiers such as B&Q, Asda, DHL, Wilkinson and DSG to name a few, have all identified the benefits of the A1 corridor by locating there during recent years. Gladman’s 200 acre Vertica1 Park is case in point. Located adjacent to the A1 close to the village of Elkesley in Nottingham, it is ideally situated with access to the regional and national motorway network. Not only that, the Journey To Work Area that serves Vertica1 Park provides manufacturing and distribution sector employers with a recruitment catchment of over 580,000 people. The site has planning permission for the construction of over 2.7m sq ft of floor space. This sites ability to accommodate a single large unit of up to 2m sq ft, its central location, national connectivity potential and readily accessible labour force will attract multi-national businesses, retailers and third party distributors.

Cheaper alternative to the M1 corridor

From both a developer and occupier perspective, the A1 also provides a cheaper alternative to the M1 corridor, where land values are at a premium. In addition, salary cost savings of between 7% and 10% against 0national rates in some sectors, including warehousing and manufacturing, are available.


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