Encouraging Wellingborough skyline

It has been encouraging, over the past 12 months, to see cranes towering on the Wellingborough skyline says commercial property agent Prop-Search, albeit in limited numbers, as glimmers of new development appear on the horizon.

In early summer, construction commenced in earnest on a 379,000 sq ft building for Yusen Logistics at Prologis Park Wellingborough West.  The building is the first unit to be developed at the Park; a 110 acre development that has planning permission for a total of 2.15 million square feet.  Designed to achieve a minimum BREEAM ‘very good’ accreditation and the best EPC rating possible for its size, the distribution centre is on schedule to complete in early 2018.

This latest facility increases Yusen’s UK nationwide warehousing portfolio to two million square feet of high quality warehousing capacity and will complement its existing Wellingborough facility from which it has operated for many years.  Wellingborough has proved to be an ideal location for its supply chain logistics business and Prologis Park Wellingborough West provides an easy drive time of the key markets and conurbations, including Birmingham and London, as well as the East Coast ports.  It is proposed that the new facility will lead to the creation of up to 2,500 new employment opportunities.

Further new jobs are on the cards as Whitworth Way starts to see orange, with the construction of a £2.1 million development nearing completion for Lok’nStore, the UK’s fastest growing self-storage company.  The new 16,500 sq ft steel-framed building features the company’s striking orange cladding, mixed with glazed curtain walling.  Accommodation will be spread over four floors and offer secure storage units in a wide range of sizes for use by business and household customers.

Following the Government’s announcement of the award of the £59 million Local Growth Fund (LGF) to the South East Midlands in March, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has now completed due diligence on the first of the proposed projects.  Leyland Trading Estate in Wellingborough is one of five projects to receive finding commitments for its proposed project.

The Estate will receive £1.26 million towards a £4.4 million project to develop SME industrial workspaces, creating 99 jobs and delivering economic growth.  The plans for the proposed development comprise 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.

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 is committed to maintaining a rolling supply of deliverable sites to provide both 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.

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), with Stanton Cross to the east (Wellingborough East) providing 3,650.

The first phase of housing at Glenville Park, comprising 35 acres, is in under offer to national house-builders.  And following the completion of impending infrastructure works, construction should commence on-site late 2018 for the delivery of some 800 new homes during 2019.  These will be complemented by a new Local Centre which will include a family public house, operated by a national brewery and a convenience food supermarket – with terms having been recently agreed for both.  These will be complimented with a mix of other neighbourhood centre retailers.  A number of retail units, surrounding the food store, will be available from Prop-Search.  The masterplan also provides for schools, a community centre, nursery and a business campus.

At Stanton Cross, as well as a mix of housing – one and two bed urban style apartments close to the station hub to six bed family homes close to the nearby lakes – will provide some limited employment opportunities in the form of new commercial buildings, including high tech/R&D, industrial and distribution, offices, retail and leisure.  Delivered by St Modwen, through their collaboration agreement with Bovis Homes, it is estimated that up to 3,000 new jobs could be created.  Community facilities are envisaged to support residents and businesses; a neighborhood and local centre, primary schools and a secondary school allocation, local shops and services, allotments, and a place of worship.

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 next 20 to 30 years.  However, these schemes involve substantial investment in infrastructure and simply can’t address the immediate demand of local and regional businesses.  Short term gains over the next 10 years will be required to keep these businesses in the Borough and attract new companies to invest in the town.