Wednesday, July 16, 2014

News: Plans in for further AMP office space

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As construction gets underway on speculative industrial property on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, plans have been submitted for the next phase of offices and workshops.

The AMP is the UK's premier advanced manufacturing technology park. Businesses on the park already provide world-class technology solutions for use in precision industries, including aerospace, defence, construction, automotive, sport and others.

Landowners, The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), which took on the assets from Yorkshire Forward, has submitted a planning application for the next phase of development at the AMP Technology Centre which features workshop and office accommodation incorporated into a new rectangular three storey, 26,000 sq ft building.

On land on Highfield Spring between the current tech centre and Dormer's facility, the building would provide double height workshops with mezzanines floors and office accommodation situated across all three floors.

The plans have been put together by consultants, Barton Wilmore and will need to gain approval from planners who are guided by national policies that state that offices should be located in town centres.

In addition, the office floor area comprises approximately 31% of the total floorspace. In comparison, the council believes that to be regarded as ancillary in nature the office use is required to be no more than 25% of the total floorspace of the development.

The plans state: "The current mixture of office, light industrial and general industrial uses at the AMP as a whole has been part of the reason why the AMP has been a success for the local area and has helped underpin economic development in this part of South Yorkshire. It is therefore vital that going forward, an appropriate mix of these uses is maintained in order that the success is continued and the AMP is able to attract high value companies; especially in the face of other nearby competing sites such as the recently approved Sheffield Business Park."

The current building, made up of two previous phases, is home to leading names such as Rolls-Royce and Materialise plus growing firms such as PES and Iceotope. Operators believe that the flexible space on site leads to effective "clustering" where there are 18 companies that collaborate with each other for mutual benefit in the AMP Technology Centre alone.

The building has been designed by architects, Aedas, to create a "striking statement building that displays a simple and refined architectural style."
The AMP is part of the 740 acre Waverley development that is being brought forward by Harworth Estates on the site of the former Orgreave colliery. They estimate that the 150 aces of employment land will help to create up to 3,500 pioneering new jobs. The AMP will support up to 2.5 million square feet of accommodation and currently 1 million sq ft has been completed.

The latest project to get underway is 52,000 sq ft of speculative industrial development. Part of R-evolution, two new, steel-frame industrial units are under construction (pictured) thanks to a forward-purchase agreement with Rotherham Council for £4.3m and a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund.

Also part of the R-evolution development, plans have been submitted by Nikken for its new facility and the adjacent plot has been taken by Maher.

CBRE is looking after the innovative £23m infrastructure and property fund and its building consultancy team is monitoring the progress on the AMP.

Ben Rennocks, director of building consultancy at CBRE's Leeds office, said: "The AMP has a strong reputation as being one of the region's most pioneering developments and it is easy to see why occupiers are keen to become part of the tenant mix.

"The recent pre-let deals indicate the current appetite for industrial accommodation so the decision to speculatively develop the new units is a measured one and offers a show of confidence for the whole regional property sector."

Construction of Units 3 & 4 is scheduled to be completed in October 2014.

Waverley website

Images: Aedas / CBRE

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