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schroder continue their push in the logistics / industrial sector.

New warehouse planned for Hartlebury Trading Estate

Hartlebury 45 will cover 45,000 sq ft with offices, a high-specification warehouse and 61 parking spaces. The development at Worcestershire's largest commercial space could be operational in just 12 months. Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has just announced that ETAC, a world-leading assistive devices developer, had signed a pre-let agreement for 30,000 sq ft purpose-built facility at the estate, while three letting units recently completed within weeks of going to market.

Rob Cosslett, acting fund manager for Schroder UK Real Estate Fund at Schroders Capital, said that demand for warehouse space continues to grow across the UK as the result of Covid-19 fast-forwarding the growth of online retail. Companies are also reviewing their supply chains and are looking for warehouse space to hold extra stocks of their critical supplies.

Cosslett said that SREF was continuing to seek opportunities to grow its presence and to expand its existing assets. The Hartlebury 45 mixed-use development fits neatly within those ambitions and significantly expands their presence on the trading estate which covers 1.5m sq ft.

Long-term lettings

SREF's industrial portfolio has been growing rapidly since the start of 2021, with over 345,000 sq ft of holdings added to the company's portfolio. These include over 45,000 sq ft of space at Woking Business Park and Matrix, in Park Royal, and securing four 10 year leases at the Arenson Centre in Dunstable, significantly increasing headline income.

Cosslett says the acquisitions are key to SREF's active approach to ensuring assets meet the needs of occupiers, a strategy that is bearing fruit with the long-term lettings at Hartlebury. Rupert Jeffries of Collingwood Rigby, SREF's asset managers for the estate, added that demand for Hartlebury opportunities is high as the estate experiences record high occupancy rates.

Planning permission secured

Planning permission has been granted by Wychavon District Council for the high-specification warehouse and office that provides full fitted turnkey opportunities and extensive yard space and parking. The building will also benefit from excellent connectivity, high-power availability and a secure business environment. SERF has owned Hartlebury Trading Estate since 2013, and it's now the premier business park in Worcester housing 90 businesses in 130 buildings ranging in size from 500 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft. The site has excellent transport links with close proximity to both the M5 and M42.

The specification for the new build comprises a steel-framed single storey building with mezzanine office level. The warehouse itself will have an internal clearance height of 10m, level access floors, dock and maximum floor loading of 50kN/m2. The office fit out will include suspended ceilings, recessed lighting and raised floors.

Rare opportunity

Opportunities of this kind are rare in this location, according to Rupert Jefferies. He said that, despite the pandemic, demand for high-quality industrial stock of this type had continued to boom across Worcestershire and the West Midlands, with demand outstripping supply.

Current occupiers at the Hartlebury Trading Estate include FedEx, Grafton Group, TNT and EDM Group.

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