A new report for UKWA from Savills, which compares the latest statistics to data from six years ago, reveals the urgent requirements for more warehousing and the need for fundamental change in land use planning. Key points include a rise of 32% overall in the number of warehousing units, a trend towards bigger warehouses, with an astonishing rise of 242% for units of 1m+ sq ft and, most telling of all, a radical change in the occupier profile of warehouses. While back in 2015, the last time Savills compiled a similar report, high street retailers were the dominant occupiers, now the leading occupier group is 3PLs, with increased occupation levels of 42% and online retailers, who have increased warehouse occupancy by a staggering 614%.

This article was first published in the July 2021 issue of Logistics Insight, subscribe to the magazine by
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Well done to St. Modwen, which has launched its latest industrial and logistics development phases as part of plans to deliver around 1.5m sq ft of high-quality space in 2021. With the first construction activity starting this month, St. Modwen will be active on 11 schemes to deliver over 25 new units in key locations across the UK as businesses continue to bolster supply chains. This latest build programme further unlocks the potential in the company’s 19m sq ft future pipeline, 45% of which already has planning.

Great to hear that Caddick Construction was awarded the contract to design and build a new 111,287 sq ft speculative distribution facility in Crewe. The works consisted of the construction of a high specification distribution facility with 7,437 sq ft of office space, 10 dock level loading bays, accommodation for 20 heavy goods vehicle trailers and extensive car parking.

Congratulations to LondonMetric which has announced the acquisition of two vacant London warehouse assets in Brent Cross and Streatham for a combined purchase price of £13.5 million. The company has agreed a new 20 year lease with Jacuna Kitchens across c.75% of the combined space. Jacuna will operate around 100 dark kitchens across both locations and LondonMetric will refurbish and upgrade the warehouses to provide enhanced power, ventilation and drainage to the buildings.

We salute Firethorn Trust, which has 820,000 sq. ft. of Grade-A logistics space currently under construction, with its Northampton Cross and Ascent Logistics Park schemes due for completion later this year. An additional 1.3million sq. ft. is in the development pipeline, with planning for Link Logistics Park in Ellesmere Port and a 500,000 sq. ft. scheme in Peterborough well under way. The company has since committed equity to three new sites, which will increase Firethorn’s portfolio by a further 2.3million sq. ft. across new 12 units by the second half of this year – all of which will be delivered to net-zero carbon in construction. All evidence points to the volume of e-commerce purchases growing for the next few years, thus increasing the demand for warehouse space, a bonanza for the commercial property sector.

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