Friday, October 31, 2014

News: Council set to sell R-evolution unit

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Rotherham Council is close to signing off on a multimillion pound sale for one of the commercial units that it acquired on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

In March, landowners and developers, Harworth Estates, signed a £4.3m forward-purchase agreement with Rotherham Council for Plots 3 and 4 of the R-evolution development on the Waverley site.

The deal unlocked a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund, which was set up to support infrastructure and real estate investment opportunities across the region. It was used to pay for infrastructure works and the construction of new manufacturing units at R-evolution.

Rotherham Council is able to borrow money to fund the purchase as it can borrow capital at low levels of interest from the Public Works Loan Board. The council will purchase the development on practical completion. It anticipated that the whole project would be cost neutral or generate an overall surplus to the council on realisation of the asset.

With construction almost complete, the council's cabinet is set to approve the sale of Unit 3 next week. Details of the purchaser, or price, have yet to be revealed.

In 2012, Harworth Estates, the company created to realise the property assets of what was UK Coal, sold the fully-let, 87,500 sq ft Evolution development on the AMP for £7.2m.

The AMP is the UK's premier advanced manufacturing technology park and is located on the site of the former Orgreave coking works. R-evolution is a 117,000 sq ft speculative industrial development and the site's status for advanced manufacturing, combined with the financial incentives through the Enterprise Zone, the units have been in high demand.

Plot 1 (40,000 sq ft) was pre-sold to Maher, a supplier of high-performance alloys, and Plot 2 (25,000 sq. ft) to Nikken Kosakusho Europe, a supplier of precision engineering products.

The AMP is recognised internationally for its innovative research and advanced manufacturing processes, and has already attracted world leading high technology companies such as Rolls-Royce, The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, Dormer Tools and Xeros Ltd.

Harworth is expected to bring forward 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.

With offices on its own Waverley site, which is South Yorkshire's largest brownfield development, Harworth Estates has recently appointed Iain Griffin as development manager and Jenny Cutler as financial controller, the 11th and 12th recruits over the past year.

Waverley website

Images: Harworth Estates

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