Friday, February 5, 2016

News: Harworth launch latest R-evolution

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Harworth Estates has officially launched a development of high-quality, flexible industrial units, called R-evolution @ Gateway 36, on the site of the former Rockingham mining site, south of Barnsley.

A specialist in brownfield regeneration, the Harworth Group, which is based on its own flagship Waverley development in Rotherham, manages around 31,370 acres across some 200 projects, with consent for 8,000 new homes. It was created through the complex restructure of what was UK Coal.

Commercial property agents took part in a tour of the new development this week, located directly off the Dearne Valley Parkway.

The launch was marked by short speeches from Barnsley Council leader Cllr. Sir Stephen Houghton CBE and Ian Ball, director of asset management at Harworth Estates. The development has been directly supported by the Council's Property Investment Fund.

Cllr. Houghton (pictured, second left) said: "Barnsley Council has been going through a difficult time with cuts to government funding, but it is our priority to grow the economy through providing job opportunities and the development at Gateway 36 is a huge step forward in this ambition.

"This is a great example of how we can work with the private sector to provide Barnsley residents, particularly our young people, with job opportunities now and in the future and I'd like to thank Harworth Estates, the commercial property agency Knight Frank and Marshall's construction company."

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R-evolution @ Gateway 36, will, in total, create more than 450 new jobs in addition to having the potential to add £20m in Gross Value Added to the local economy. Alongside the Harworth development, key highway connections along the Dearne Valley Parkway (M1 Junction 36 along the A6135 to Goldthorpe) are set to be improved with new access roads along with the preparation of additional sites along the route. Access to Enterprise Zone sites are also set to be improved.

The first three of Harworth's units, which total 65,000 sq ft, have been pre-let to Barnsley Council. Funding also came from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund, which provided a £4.8m loan to enable infrastructure works and the construction of the units to take place.

Harworth Estates said that it will begin the speculative development of a 75,000 sq ft industrial unit this month at the Gateway 36 scheme having secured planning consent from Barnsley Council for the unit, together with consent for the third and final phase of development that will comprise a drive-through restaurant, a hotel or car showroom and a "Farmhouse Inn" pub, operated by Greene King.

Funding for the construction of the new unit has come from a £2.7m loan, also from the SCR JESSICA Fund.

Dave Travis, associate director of business space at Harworth Estates, said: "Building this unit speculatively marks another exciting period for Harworth Estates and our Gateway 36 development. There is a lack of good-quality units of less than 100,000 sq ft in the region and we have taken this decision to steal a march on other developers focusing on "big box" logistics.

"Given the number of enquiries we have already had on Gateway 36, we expect even more companies that want a modern, high-specification unit adjacent to the M1 to express an interest."

William Church, director of CBRE Capital Advisors, investment advisor to the SCR JESSICA Fund, added: "This speculative unit at Gateway 36 is exactly the type of development the Fund (created by the SCR LEP and Local Authorities) was established to provide funding for: one which will benefit the local economy and where there is clear occupier demand in an area of undersupply but little interest from the traditional lenders. We are delighted that we were able to create and deliver the necessary financial package to enable this speculative development to happen"

Harworth Estates used similar methods to bring forward development in partnership with the public sector on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. A £4.3m forward-purchase agreement with Rotherham Council enabled the developer to unlock a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region JESSICA Fund, which led to the first R-evolution scheme, a 117,000 sq ft speculative industrial development, the success of which is leading to a second phase.

Harworth Estates website

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