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Embracing change

Work underway on Leylnad Trading Estate

Brexit - Unitary Authorities - On-line retail - Supply & Demand - Politics - Taxation.  All your new friends and all offering opportunity or challenge, depending on your approach to them.

Whilst Wellingborough lags behind its neighbouring towns in terms of physical growth and evolution, it certainly doesn’t in terms of the opportunities it has at its feet as long as patience and positivity is applied.

Wellingborough East - now badged Stanton Cross - is still to deliver its full vision.  Work on infrastructure has commenced but the scale and cost of this remains challenging and ultimately restrictive in terms of speed of delivery.  The end goal is to provide for 3,650 new homes, employment areas creating some 3,000 new jobs and shopping facilities, but this is some years off despite being 10 years in the making.

One scheme that has been quick off the market is Prologis Park Wellingborough West; a 110 acre development that has planning permission for a total of 2.15 million square feet.  It has recently welcomed its first occupier, Yusen Logistics, which already has an existing facility in the town and will use the new 379,000 square foot facility to expand its UK supply chain logistics service.  Wellingborough’s strategic location and Prologis’s delivery timeline, played a pivotal role in Yusen’s decision - in the process creating up to 2,500 new employment opportunities.

Investment into creating further new employment opportunities for the growing town and address some of the supply and demand imbalance, is being seen on the Leyland Trading Estate; popular location for a wide range of businesses.  Having received funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) - following the Government’s announcement of the award of the £59 million Local Growth Fund (LGF) - the Estate has received £1.26 million towards a £4.4 million project to develop SME industrial workspaces, creating 99 jobs and delivering economic growth. 

Work has now started on the development, comprising a total of 42,420 sq ft split into three separate blocks.  Block 1 will total 22,240 sq ft with the capability to be divided into three individual units, whilst Block 2 will offer 12,490 sq ft and Block 3 7,690 sq ft.  Individual unit sizes range from 550 sq ft up to 9,000 sq ft.  Pre-lets are currently being sought.

Further new jobs, including opportunities for apprentices, have also recently been created in the town as one of the County’s most reputable commercial vehicle businesses has expanded its specialist bespoke body building division.  Kurt Hobbs Coachworks has just taken possession of an 11,000 sq ft factory premises adjacent to the A45 at Little Irchester; a move which has released space at its existing complex in Great Addington.  This will facilitate growth in its new builds - building new commercial bodies to suit individual customer needs.

Out of the six influences listed at the start of this article, probably the most influential is possible dissolution of Northamptonshire County Council - following its effective bankruptcy - to a unitary form of local government.  This could see Wellingborough, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Corby combined as one with Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire as another - so two authorities for Northamptonshire - with Commissioners in place to ensure ‘best practice’.  The current membership of some 100 plus County Councillors could be culled, with those not ‘chosen’ perhaps looking to take positions within new Town Councils. 

So with the current uncertainly facing Northamptonshire’s Councils - in whatever new guise - the UK leaving the EU at 11.00pm on Friday 29th March 2019, who knows what will happen in the world over this timeline; US President impeachment, Cold War, EU collapse or Lewis Hamilton equalling Schumacher’s World title haul?  Whatever is in store for us, it looks like being an interesting ride.

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25 June 2018