This year is set to see a record amount of new warehouse space being built in the UK as online shopping creates demand for storage. According to research by property consultancy Knight Frank, 40 million sq ft of new space will be built this year, double the amount completed last year. Retailers and distribution companies ordering purpose-built properties have already leased much of the new space. Online sales increased £34 billion year-on-year in 2020 and are predicted to exceed £150 billion by 2024. For every £1 billion spent online around 1.4 million sq ft of warehouse space is created, the research found.

This article was first published in the May 2021 issue of Logistics Insight, subscribe to the magazine by
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Central Bedfordshire Council has given the green light for construction to begin at Ascent Logistics Park – a major industrial site in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Commercial real estate investor and developer Firethorn Trust acquired the 24.5-acre scheme with outline planning permission from Pears Property in March 2020. Located by J11 of the M1, the speculative scheme consists of eight grade-A units, ranging from 12,000 sq ft to 130,000 sq ft.

LondonMetric Property Plc has announced the acquisition of two warehouses in Milton Keynes for £31.2 million, reflecting a blended net initial yield of 4.4% and a reversionary yield of 5.0%. The buildings have a WAULT of 22 years and benefit from contractual rental uplifts. The two properties have been acquired in separate transactions and comprise: a 66,000 sq ft unit, which is let to TalkTalk as a data centre and has been acquired for £23.9 million; and a 42,000 sq ft urban logistics warehouse, which has been acquired for £7.3 million.

St. Modwen Logistics is continuing to grow its portfolio with the commencement of steelworks for a new 64,752 sq ft unit at St. Modwen Park Gatwick. The unit forms part of the second phase of development at the site and is expected to be ready for occupation by mid-July 2021. Once complete, St. Modwen Park Gatwick – which has been designed to meet the growing demand for big box and urban warehouse space in the area – is expected to create around 75 jobs across the region.

Caddick Construction undertook the construction of a single storey 1,370,622 sq ft warehouse and processing unit for retailer TK Maxx, together with three storey office accommodation, non-merchandise store, battery charging unit, recycling units, external site works including hard standings, car parking, landscaping and drainage. The warehouse and processing building consists of a structural steel multi span portal frame. The warehouse and processing centre include glazing at each upper floor of the mezzanine to afford natural light to the workforce, the glazing is on three elevations.

With the volume of online shopping set to increase in the next few years, demand for warehouse space will keep rising, a boon for the commercial property sector.

George Simpson

Features Editor

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