Thursday, April 10, 2014

News: Development brought forward as AMP sells itself

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Demand for commercial property at the "Mayfair address" for advanced manufacturing - the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham - has prompted landowners, Harworth Estates, to bring forward plans for a further phase of development.

Harworth Estates, the company created to realise the property assets of what was UK Coal, has already secured occupation for over half of the space at its 117,000 sq ft speculative industrial development called R-evolution.

In two separate transactions Harworth has pre-sold Plot 1 (2.34 acres to accommodate a building of up to 40,000 sq ft) to Maher, a supplier of high-performance alloys, and Plot 2 (1.66 acres to accommodate a building of up to 25,000 sq. ft) to Nikken Kosakusho Europe, a supplier of precision engineering products.

Construction of the development is due to begin this week after Harworth last month completed a forward-purchase agreement for R-evolutions Plots 3 and 4 with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for £4.3m, with Harworth being responsible for the letting of those units in 2014.  It also secured a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund.

The two sales leave just two units available to let at R-evolution and have prompted Harworth to bring forward plans for a second phase of development. Harworth now intends to submit a planning application by June 2014 for three further industrial units on five acres of the 68 acres that remain to be developed for employment use at Waverley, followed by a further 21 acres for "AMPlify" – a new phase of employment development to meet the strong demand for space at the development.

Plans were approved in 2012 for earthworks that will allow further development of around 21.5 hectares (53 acres) of land. 5.23 hectares (12.94 acres) of this could provide around 200,000 sq ft of high quality, modern, flexible industrial units.

Plots on the site benefit from Enterprise Zone status offering business rates relief and enhanced capital allowances. There are currently around 700 people employed at the AMP and Harworth believe that there is the potential for over 2,000 new jobs to be created through further development following Rolls-Royce's commitment to the site.
Campbell Carruth, director of Business Space at Harworth Estates, said: "The sale of the first two units at R-evolution to top-quality occupiers justifies our decision to build speculatively and proves the latent demand for high quality space in the region.

"Such is the scarcity of equivalent-quality stock in the Yorkshire & Humber region that we are accelerating our plans for a second phase of R-evolution, utilising the significant remaining land designated for employment here at Waverley."

Councillor Roger Stone, Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (pictured, third left), added: "It is good to be here at the ground-breaking of the R-evolution @ the AMP development, and to see the expansion of the Nikken and Maher facilities.

"The Advanced Manufacturing Park is known globally for its cutting edge advanced manufacturing technology expertise, and has benefitted Rotherham through the creation of many high quality jobs and investment into the borough. R-evolution will help meet further demand from high quality manufacturing businesses, who want to expand and join the world-class companies already located at the AMP."

The UK's premier advanced manufacturing technology park, the AMP is part of the £100m Waverley development on the site of the former Orgreave colliery. The biggest brownfield site development in South Yorkshire covers 741 acres, an area bigger than Sheffield city centre.

Over a development phase of 20 years, the site will see the establishment of a new community of around 4,000 homes, shops, restaurants, schools, leisure facilities, health and community centres and parks.

Along with the adjoining commercial developments and the AMP, the developers hope that Waverley will create around 7,000 new jobs.

Harworth Estates website

Images: RMBC / Harworth Estates

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