RICS Q4 2020: UK Commercial Property Market Survey – Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews comments

RICS Q4 2020: UK Commercial Property Market Survey – Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews comments

The RICS has published its latest quarterly UK Commercial Property Market Survey (Q4 2020), headlined, ‘Widening disparity between strong industrial sector performance and struggling office and retail markets’.

In commenting on the survey, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews reported that its experience of micro-local conditions in the Eastern region of England, in the same quarter, revealed a complex market.

Ben Green, Director, explained, “Each of our locations – Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough and Bury St Edmunds – has its own strengths in particular market sectors but all would, collectively, point to the pre-eminence of the market for industrial units in their locale.

“Across the region, local markets always retain their nuances when set against the whole of the country but do, in the main, broadly reflect the wider UK picture during any one quarter.”

For the full RICS survey, see tinyurl.com/65exsekn.

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For any press queries, please contact:
Richard Jones, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, 01733 897722, [email protected]

Industrial instruction

Industrial instruction

Large, detached, two storey industrial business premises on the Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate are the latest instruction of the Huntingdon office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews who is acting as the sole agent on behalf of the landlord.

The premises are on a self-contained site at 12 Blackstone Road and the accommodation offered is warehouse, production and office space across two connected warehouses, totalling 13,105 sq ft.

The main warehouse is 10,656 sq ft and the connected, warehouse extension is 2,448 sq ft. Additional features include 40kw solar panels, twin goods access doors and the site is gated and fenced.

Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate is the principal commercial trading location in Huntingdon, with good access to the A1/A14 junction interchange.

Eddisons confirmed that the current tenant of 12 Blackstone Road is relocating so the unit is a ‘relatively rare’ opportunity to acquire a good, modern, well located industrial building.

Viewing of 12 Blackstone Road is by appointment only through Eddisons as the sole agent.

To arrange a viewing or for more information, contact Richard Adam at the Huntingdon office, tel 01480 451578, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/properties/blackstone-road-stukeley-meadows-industrial-estate-huntingdon-cambridgeshire-pe29

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For any press queries, please contact:
Richard Jones, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, 01733 897722, [email protected]

The future is Bright with return to Huntingdon

The future is Bright with return to Huntingdon

Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews has announced the freehold sale of Burnett House at Ermine Street Business Park in a deal which sees Bright Instruments Ltd return to Huntingdon after four years in Luton.

Working in the highly specialised field of medical and laboratory precision equipment, Bright Instruments’ new headquarters sees the company as the exclusive owner-occupier in 11,646 sq ft (1,081.91 sq m) of production, warehouse and office space at Burnett House which is on Lakeview Court at the business park.

Sold for undisclosed sum, Burnett House was offered to let or for freehold sale through Eddisons who acted as the sole agent.

In seeking to return to Huntingdon in order to recruit skilled staff in line with its future growth plans, Bright Instruments had, initially, been looking to lease new premises to meet its property requirements.

Managing Director, Harry Nugent, explained, “We made the decision to return ‘home’ to Huntingdon – where we established the company over 85 years ago – to capitalise on its pool of skilled staff, many of whom are former employees.

“We had only been looking for business premises for a month before we saw the opportunity to buy the freehold of Burnett House.

“The Huntingdon area is well placed for our business and recruitment plans which are centred on recruiting 15 additional staff members this year and five each year thereafter as our plans for growth play out.”

Welcoming Bright Instruments Ltd back to Huntingdon, Richard Adam, of Eddisons’ local office, said, “Bright’s rationale behind its relocation to Burnett House is typical of that of many businesses in this area – whether indigenous or, previously, outside the area.

“Huntingdon is a business hub at the centre of a large catchment area of potential employees who can meet a range of employers’ contrasting needs when it comes to recruitment.”

For more information on business premises for sale or to let, contact Richard Adam at the Huntingdon office of Eddisons, tel 01480 451578, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

 

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For any press queries, please contact:
Richard Jones, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, 01733 897722, [email protected]

Eddisons advises at major new Cambridge tech business campus

Eddisons advises at major new Cambridge tech business campus

The local office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews has confirmed its role in a major new Cambridge business park for which planning permission has recently (January) been granted.

Bourn Quarter will be on a site of over 10 hectares and is part of the wider redevelopment of Bourn Airfield, between Cambourne and Cambridge, west of the city centre, where there are also plans for substantial residential development.

Eddisons acted on behalf of client Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) – who has been confirmed as the first tenant at Bourn Quarter which, as a new business park, is modelled on the High Tech Campus at Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

CDP was represented in lease negotiations by Eddisons who also advised on the construction contract and is retained as CDP’s appointed adviser to monitor the build process too.

The Eddisons team working on the project is led by directors Mark Critchley and David Park who are based at the firm’s Cambridge and Peterborough offices, respectively.

Speaking following the announcement of planning approval for Bourn Quarter, Mark Critchley commented, “The new high tech campus is the principal commercial element of the overall scheme that is centred on Bourn Airfield.

“It’s a real privilege to be working for CDP who, as the Quarter’s anchor tenant, will have a top quality headquarters building in blazing the trail for other high profile occupiers.

“Cambridge’s pre-eminence in scientific and engineering fields is acknowledged globally and we are looking forward to playing our part in bringing forward another top calibre business park in the area.”

Construction will begin this year (2021) with CDP’s occupation of its new headquarters scheduled for summer 2022.

Construction complete at new-build industrial units in Huntingdon

Construction complete at new-build industrial units in Huntingdon

Construction of a small, brand new scheme of industrial business units on the Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate is now complete, with the Huntingdon office of sole agent Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews confirming that the first unit has already been let and strong interest in several of the other units.

The Meadow, on Alms Close, is a scheme of six brand new business units built by Huntingdonshire District Council, suitable for light industrial and warehouse/distribution use.

The units range in size from 1,350 sq ft to 3,228 sq ft (125.42 sq m to 299.88 sq m) and each unit is offered to let with allocated parking.

Stukeley Meadows Industrial Trading Estate is the principal industrial trading area of Huntingdon and is where a number of established local and international companies operate.

The Meadow scheme is one mile from Huntingdon town centre and is conveniently located for access to the A14, the A1(M) and beyond.

Stephen Power, of the agent’s Huntingdon office, commented, “All indications are that the demand for industrial business units will endure well this year.

“Given the lack of availability of brand new, quality stock in the Huntingdon area when set against local demand and the boost to the town’s profile given by the A14 upgrade, The Meadow development is well placed for industrial occupiers who are looking to capitalise on the units’ availability, quality and location.”

For more information about the availability of the remaining units to let at The Meadow, Alms Close, Huntingdon, contact Stephen Power at Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, or see eddisons.com/properties/the-meadow-alms-close-huntingdon-cambridgeshire-pe29-6ef.

 

Furnishings firm makes itself at home in new Peterborough premises

Furnishings firm makes itself at home in new Peterborough premises

An independent home furnishings retailer has relocated to new premises in Peterborough in a move which saw the local agency of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews  act on behalf of the landlord in the letting of the property.

At 1,428 sq ft (132.66 sq m), 31 Alfric Square sees Homesoft Ltd (also known locally as Upholstery Centre) now trading from larger premises than its previous unit on Oundle Road’s trading district, where it had been located for the past 25 out of the 30 years since it was established in 1990.

In seeking new premises, the upholstery, fabric, curtains, blinds and flooring retailer had wanted larger premises to meet the needs of its domestic and contract customer base who are, mostly, within a 15 mile radius of Peterborough.

Peter Beckerton, one of the firm’s co-directors, explained, “We had been looking for a larger unit for about 12 months before securing 31 Alfric Square for use as our main showroom premises and office base.

“As a local independent business who has been trading for so many years and, in having such an established and loyal customer base – in trade circles, in particular – our property requirements were quite exacting when it came to size and location.

“We are currently stocking our new showroom and are looking forward to opening for business soon.”

The Peterborough office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews acted as sole agent in letting 31 Alfric Square.

For more information on similar properties to let in the local area, contact Freddie Dade, tel 01733 897722, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

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For any press queries, please contact:
Richard Jones, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, 01733 897722, [email protected]

Pharma investment affirms Cambridge’s pre-eminence

Ben Green 

 

Pharma investment affirms Cambridge’s pre-eminence

Ben Green, Director, who heads the Cambridge office, joins the chorus of approval for the city’s high profile R&D offering.

News announced earlier in the month (January) that a French pharmaceuticals company is set to pay £820 million for a Cambridge antibody specialist is as welcome as it is unsurprising.

Sanofi is the suitor of Cambridge’s Kymab. The latter is a drug and vaccine developer based at Babraham Research Campus, to the south of the city, and is borne of research its chief scientific officer, Professor Allan Bradley conducted at the nearby Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Kymab was founded in 2010 by Dr Glenn Friedrich with Prof Bradley’s research input. It is a very typical Cambridge tale of deep, academic scientific research spinning out to small, specialist biotech or hi-tech commercial companies.

Such companies’ growth strategies to attract early stage ‘angel’ investment will almost always have an eye on an exit strategy involving attracting a substantial controlling investment, if not buyout, by a larger, international corporate player.

It’s been the story of Cambridge’s prosperity and it sets the tone for the city’s commercial property market for not only its scientific and technology occupiers but also the professional and financial services sector too.

The latter sector’s success – and here I include those of property firms – is very much dependent on the high profile and the churn of business space deals among R&D and laboratory occupiers.

Thus, in Cambridge, we are fortunate to enjoy and benefit from many ‘scientific campus’ style locations offering the kind of office suite and R&D/lab combinations occupiers of all shapes, sizes and stages of growth seek.

The ‘daddy’ of which is, undoubtedly, Cambridge Science Park whose original 1970s site has expanded in phases well beyond its original, concentrated, pioneering, northern edge of city site.

It is still the most coveted of R&D locations and one which its psf price reflects.

The opening of the city’s second railway station, Cambridge North, less than four years ago (May 2017) will continue to bolster the Science Park area of the city as the new station site develops out to have its own commercial attraction and identity.

Down the years, I’ve had the pleasure on being instructed on the high profile R&D sites in Cambridge’s ring of scientific and technology campuses – many of which are at the city’s southern side where there has been rapid development from the mid 1990s.

The latest instruction of this kind is at ((eddisons.com/properties/harston-mill-harston-cambridge-cb22)) Harston Mill, where, true to type for a Cambridge offering, there is a range of suites to suit office or laboratory use from 18 sq m (192 sq ft) to larger suites of 270 sq m (2,904 sq ft) with the ability to combine suites.

With news now announced of planning approval granted for a brand new scientific location to the west of Cambridge at Bourn, which is inspired by a Eindhoven’s high-tech campus and already has the commitment to relocation by one rising star on the Cambridge innovation scene Cambridge Design Partnership, the city’s pre-eminence in for science and technology looks set to continue.

 

For more information R&D and laboratory property availability in Cambridge, contact Ben Green, tel 01223 467155, [email protected].

Valuations: certainty in uncertain times

Martin Hughes

 

Valuations: certainty in uncertain times

Martin Hughes, Director, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, stresses the ongoing importance of evidence when it comes to deciding valuations in uncertain times.

Earlier this month (January), the RICS’ ‘think tank’ on material uncertainty clauses (MUCs) convened to conclude that the trading circumstances of repeated lockdown phases were no bar to qualified professionals’ ability to assess and make property valuations.

To the reading of a lay audience or property professionals with only a passing understanding of valuations, the decision of the latest meeting of – to give the think tank its correct name – the RICS Material Valuations Uncertainty Leaders Forum – may seem counter intuitive.

But the counterpoint of those qualified and experienced in the professional valuations discipline is that MUCs have always had a validity. Albeit that validity is limited and only applicable in certain, exceptional circumstances where the evidence or, indeed, an absence of evidence points to the inclusion of an MUC in a valuation following rigorous due diligence.

Not all valuations require evidence.

Admittedly, while acknowledging a degree of uncertainty in certain sectors, such as leisure, hospitality and prime retail, there have been transactions during the past 10 months which have continued in the face of very difficult circumstances.

Fortunately, for those professionals operating in the industrial sector – which has continued to perform strongly set against the lack of available stock – there is, relatively speaking, a solid body of evidence based on market conditions.

Deploying MUCs as a simple default position when and where evidence exists and when trends can be demonstrated simply because of pandemic-induced business lockdowns – whether en masse or in tiered phases – cannot be justified.

While the wholesale use of MUCs cannot be supported there will be presently – just as there have always been – some cases in which their use is justified in reflecting the evidence and the particular attributes of the property asset and its position in the market at that specific point in time.

The guiding principle of the discipline and the practice of valuations is that there should not be a blanket ‘who knows’.

For any registered valuer to reach the conclusion where an MUC is inserted in a valuation, it means that the decision has been reached only after due diligence has been carried out.

The MUC accompanying the valuation in this instance will then have been based on the lack of available evidence to support a value predating the current economic turbulence.

What any professionally qualified valuer cannot be sure of is the performance of future values and it is incumbent on professionals to recommend to interested parties that some property types are kept under more frequent review.

 

For more information on valuations services, see https://eddisons.com/services/valuations/valuations-quick-guide

The A47: Only connect

In the first in a series of guest blogs, Rob Facer, Managing Director of developer, Barnack Estates UK Ltd , joins the chorus of approval for the dualling of the A47.

The A47: Only connect

The route of the A47 forms an arc between Peterborough’s and Norwich’s areas of influence – a part of the Eastern region which has yet to benefit from the economic prosperity which much of the rest of this region has enjoyed. A proposal to make this arc of the A47 a dual carriageway, with associated improved junctions for access, will go some way to unlock the full economic potential of this rump of the Fens which, arguably, is the final commercial development frontier of East Anglia.

The business case for the Highways England scheme for the dualling of the 115 mile stretch of the road between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth is indisputable and it is backed by some of the region’s political hard hitters who, with Whitehall and central government support, are set to make this happen.

Earlier this year (2019), I was part of a business delegation invited by the Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority to state the case and justify central funding for the dualling of the A47 to the then Secretary of State for Transport and his departmental advisors. I have no reason to think his successors in the current or any future administrations will not be equally as receptive to the rationale.

The area’s Combined Authority is four-square behind the dualling of the A47 in meeting its remit to serve the whole of the Cambridge and Peterborough areas of Cambridgeshire. Indeed, the Authority’s Mayor, James Palmer, cut his political teeth in the local town and district politics of the East Cambridgeshire fen district and acknowledges that better transport links are required.

But the A47 doesn’t just belong to Cambridgeshire; Norfolk County Council is also a driving force behind the dualling project which will put Norfolk’s fen and coastal areas in a more advantageous commercial position.

In terms of untapping the remaining potential in the Eastern region – internationally acknowledged as one of UK plc’s powerhouses with Cambridge and, I would argue for different reasons, Peterborough at its heart – the multimillion pound investment to dual the A47 will be a pump-priming project.

Improved roads and, thereby, transport connectivity are what attract private commercial developers like me. In bringing land forward for commercial development, the speculative development industry creates obvious and direct employment in construction and the related trades.

In turn, new companies or those re-locating to new commercial developments to take advantage of improved road links, create or add to local employment opportunities and the skill sets of the local population. Then follows the service industries, who finance or advise or feed or supply the new business area’s companies. We all generate tax revenue for central government coffers as well as creating wealth in the locale.

Finally, the “Fen Frontier” will have improved connectivity with the A11/A14 East-West corridor and the East Coast ports in one direction and the North-South opportunities of the A1(M) and the A14/M11 Cambridge to Stansted corridor and the improved A14 beyond Huntingdon to Midlands and the North and North West via the M6/M1 Catthorpe interchange.

Commercial development opportunities are all about making connections.

http://www.bsm.uk.com Barker Storey Matthews now the part of Eddisons is the sole agent on a number of Barnack Estates’ new commercial developments in Peterborough and Huntingdon and advises on the developer’s long term land interests and projects in the region.

Electrical wholesaler fired-up by area’s potential

 

Electrical wholesaler fired-up by area’s potential

An independent electrical wholesaler is set to open a new trade counter in St Ives next month (February) following the conclusion of a deal which saw the Huntingdon office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews act as agent on behalf of the landlord.

The 1,833 sq ft (175 sq m) Unit 5 at Joiners Court, off Nuffield Road in St Ives, will be the first premises in the area for GDA Electrical Wholesaler Ltd whose only other location is in Bedford.

Established in 2016, the wholesaler serves trade and retail customer bases and is opening the new Joiners Court trade counter to serve an existing customer base and to tap the potential for new customers in an area where, it believes, there is not a strong electrical wholesaler presence.

Gerald Sylvester, Director, GDA Electrical Wholesaler Ltd, confirmed that the company had been looking for business premises in the area for six months before securing the Joiners Court unit where the main attractions were its location, the new-build unit itself and its easy access.

He added, “On opening, we will initially staff our St Ives branch from our current team of eleven staff but we will be looking to recruit locally as the business grows.”

Stephen Power, Director, Eddisons – who led the letting instruction – said, “Unit 5 is the final unit available to let at Joiners Court which is a brand new terrace of industrial units in the main industrial, commercial area of St Ives where other occupiers include Parker Rose Kitchens & Interiors and Tech Tile.

“The new occupier’s property requirements were typical of the kind of enquiry with which we dealt throughout last year and also in the first month of 2021.

“The industrial slice of market looks set to continue to be the most active.”

For more information about industrial premises to let in the St Ives, Huntingdon and St Neots areas, contact Stephen Power at the local office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, 01480 451578, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.