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.

Unit suits beauty therapist

Unit suits beauty therapist

The letting of a retail unit on Bury Street, Stowmarket by the local office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey  is the agent’s latest letting in the Suffolk market town and is one in which it was the sole agent under instruction.

Unit 2 at 14 Bury Street has been let to an independently trading beauty therapist who will undertake a full fit out of the open plan retail unit to suit its specification.

The double-fronted 623 sq ft (57.88 sq m) modern retail premises are close to public parking and the letting of the unit completes the portfolio of the agent’s current instructions in the town.

For information about the availability of retail units in Suffolk, contact Steven Mudd at the Bury St Edmunds office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, tel 01284 702655 or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

Find out more 

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

All’s well on completed letting

All’s well on completed letting

The Bury St Edmunds office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews  has completed a surrender and new lease granted which will see a health and wellbeing café in town centre premises previously used as a hair salon.

The new occupier has taken a new, 10-year lease on a 896 sq ft (83.24 sq m) A1 retail (Class E) unit at 8 Risbygate Street in the Suffolk market town – a location in which nearby occupiers include a music shop and a model toy shop.

As the sole agent, Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews reports that this letting is the latest in a string of small, retail unit deals in Bury St Edmunds where units in this size bracket remain in demand from independent retail occupiers.

For information about the availability of retail units to let in Bury St Edmunds or surrounding towns in Suffolk, contact Steven Mudd at Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, tel 01284 702655 or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

Find out more 

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

Run of freehold disposals continues with sale of Stukeley Meadows industrial unit

Run of freehold disposals continues with sale of Stukeley Meadows industrial unit

The Huntingdon office of Barker Storey Matthews – now part of Eddisons – has confirmed the freehold sale of an industrial unit on the Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate in the town to Playfords Ltd, a building services and engineering contractor.

Unit 18 Blackstone Road is a two storey, 496.25 sq m (5,341 sq ft), semi-detached industrial unit with production, storage and office accommodation and is Playford Ltd’s new premises where it will begin trading before the end of the year (2019) on its relocation from another unit on the Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate where it has been since 2014.

Playfords Ltd – whose other locations are in Durham and Dartford – has purchased Unit 18 Blackstone Road following the review of its commercial accommodation requirements, prompted by the change in working practices in its sector where operational teams work on-site with clients on long term project contracts rather than service clients’ needs remotely from a central office.

According to Barker Storey Matthews now part of Eddisons, who was the sole agent instructed in the sale of Unit 18, Playfords Ltd wanted to remain on the Stukeley Meadows business district given the estate’s proximity to the A14 and A1(M) and onward road links across the country.

While the final sale price achieved is not disclosed, Richard Adam of Barker Storey Matthews confirmed that Unit 18 Blackstone Road was marketed for sale with a guide price of £480,000.

He added, “This latest sale continues the run of freehold disposals in Huntingdon which companies in a position to purchase, such as Playfords Ltd, favour – subject to the availability of stock in the right location.”

For more information on the availability of industrial premises for sale or to let in the Huntingdon area, contact Richard Adam at Barker Storey Matthews now part of Eddisons, tel 01480 451578 or see bsm.uk.com.

Business units let to pump specialist

Business units let to pump specialist

One of the final deals of last year (2020) for the Cambridge agency of Eddisons now incorporating Barker Storey Matthews  saw PumpSmart Ltd – a supplier and distributor of specialist pump equipment – with a five year lease on two industrial units at the South Cambridge Business Park in Sawston.

The two units, 21 and 22, give the new occupier 1,349 sq ft (125 sq m) and 2,150 sq ft (199.71 sq m) of warehouse and offices premises in total.

South Cambridge Business Park offers all its occupiers an established business location that is well positioned for access to Cambridge itself as well as the M11. A11 and A14.

Additionally, Sawston has an extensive range of village amenities including high street and independent retail traders, public houses and personal and financial services.

Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthew was the sole agent under instruction in acting on behalf of the landlord.

For more information on industrial premises to let in the Cambridge area, contact Laurence Gercke at the Cambridge office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, tel 01223 456155, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

Find out more 

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

Former police station freehold sold

Former police station freehold sold

The freehold of the former police station and magistrates court in Newmarket has been sold through the agency of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews for a sum in excess of £1 million.

Appointed to act on behalf of the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Suffolk and Suffolk County Council as the sole agent, the freehold of the premises and 0.31 acre town centre site, spanning Vicarage Road and Lisburn Road, was marketed and sold with outline residential planning permission to a property development company.

The Bury St Edmunds office of Eddisons completed the deal in mid-December (2020) after extensive negotiations which were lengthened by the Covid-19 pandemic and phases of business lockdown.

Commenting on the success of the freehold sale, Eddisons’ Steven Mudd said, “Notwithstanding the problems in the wider economy caused by the pandemic, the completion of the sale demonstrates the ongoing appeal of freehold property investment.

“Plus, also, the enduring attraction of the Eastern region for such residential development opportunities.”

For more information on freehold property for sale or development opportunities in Newmarket and surrounding areas, contact Steven Mudd at the Bury St Edmunds office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews, tel 01284 702655 or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.

Find out more 

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

Industrial lets maintain momentum on South Cambs estate

Industrial lets maintain momentum on South Cambs estate

Momentum in the industrial lettings market continues apace as the year begins (2021) with the Cambridge office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews having confirmed the letting of the final two units at Solopark Trading Estate in Pampisford.

The firm has been the sole agent on a suite of industrial instructions at the South Cambridgeshire trading estate where the remaining two, newly constructed units of 12a and 13a have been recently let to companies working locally in the electrical and technology sectors.

Solopark Trading Estate is an established and secure business location with good access to the regions mains roads – the A11, M11 and A14.

As one of a select number of similar industrial estates serving the Cambridge conurbation, the agent was always confident of the available units’ appeal to operators in the industrial or the trade counter fields.

Ben Green of the local office of Eddisons incorporating Barker Storey Matthews said, “We have commented recently on the outstanding performance of the industrial sector in this past year’s commercial property market.

“Lettings like these at Solopark Trading Estate, together with ongoing investor appetite for freehold purchase in the industrial sector, have underpinned market momentum this year when it comes to property moves.”

 

For more information on industrial units to let in the Cambridge area, contact Ben Green tel 01223 456155, [email protected] or see eddisons.com/barker-storey-matthews.