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Wellingborough needs to embrace change

Leyland Trading Estate

The warehouse and industrial markets continue to be a dominant strength of the Wellingborough commercial property market, although are being put at risk by the constraint on supply.

Unlike other major towns across the County, there is limited new development taking place.  One scheme which will alleviate some of the pent up demand for small units is nearing completion.  Having received £1.26 million from South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), towards a £4.4 million project, Northern Trust has just completed a new scheme on Leyland Trading Estate to develop SME industrial workspaces; expected to create 99 jobs and deliver economic growth. 

The new development comprises a total of 42,420 sq ft split into three separate blocks.  Block 1 totals 22,240 sq ft with the capability to be divided into three individual units, whilst Block 2 offers 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.  Interest in the scheme has been strong with pre-lets on six of the small units having already been agreed.

Leyland Trading Estate is a popular location for a wide range of businesses and offers a total of 192,000 sq ft, which predominately comprises terraces of modern/warehouse units, with generous parking and yard areas - available on flexible lease packages.  The Estate benefits from manned guarding, with dog patrols out of normal working hours and CCTV coverage to the security office - offering an enhanced security provision.

The Borough of Wellingborough maintains its position in that it has a rolling supply of sites to provide five years worth of housing, with a target to deliver 7,000 new homes by 2031 and employment land to address the current chronic shortage of stock.  However, the deliverability and viability of much of this supply is not straight forward and therefore not certain.

Approximately 3,000 new homes are set to be delivered as part of the Glenvale Park urban extension to the north of the town (Wellingborough North) and land sales to accommodate some 800 new homes have now been agreed.  Pre-infrastructure works have already commenced with an estimated timeline on delivery of the first phases being 2020 through to 2021.  These will be complemented by a new Local Centre which will include a family public house - operated by a national brewery, a convenience food supermarket and a care home.  A mix of other neighbourhood centre retailers through opportunities from 1,000 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft will also be available long with schools, a community centre, nursery and a business campus. 

Further housing stock - some 3,650 new homes - is also being provided at Stanton Cross to the east (Wellingborough East) as well as employment opportunities in the form of new commercial buildings.  These are to be delivered by St Modwen, through a collaboration agreement with Bovis Homes, with Stanton Cross designed to become a thriving commercial hub, providing flexible space for businesses ranging from international companies to local start-ups. 

The first phase of commercial development is being promoted in the form of three warehouse facilities offering accommodation from 40,000 sq ft up to a total of 275,000 sq ft.  It is understood that following a reserve matters planning application, St Modwen will look at commencing speculative development of the scheme to achieve practical completion towards the end of the year.

The scale of long-term schemes like Wellingborough North and Wellingborough East are key to the economic future of the area and offer the town a huge potential to develop over the coming years.  However, these schemes don’t immediately satisfy current demand levels, particularly with the growth in the logistics and e-commerce sectors, with Wellingborough well placed in terms of location within the country’s national motorway network. 

The hope is that the new unitary authority, being formed by Wellingborough along with East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Corby - following the restructure of Northamptonshire County Council - will deliver a more holistic approach to governance and strategy, rather than the micro approach of individual councils.  And that this in turn will lead to infrastructure opportunities being explored, such as the Oxford Cambridge link which will touch Northamptonshire.

With any luck, the timing of unification and Brexit will offer a refreshing environment for positive opportunity - as the Americans preach ‘Embrace Change’ - we’re certainly excited about the future!


Monday, March 18, 2019