A sharp rise in logistics enquiries is bucking the Black Country’s regeneration prospects, says Grant Seeley, director of local investment agency Black Country Investment. Logistics companies are increasingly capitalising on the plentiful availability of skills and labour and restructuring of manufacturing requirements.
Seeley says: “We are seeing a significant upturn in logistics enquiries with the region being targeted by a number of occupiers looking for a total of more than two million sq ft of new space. They are looking to set up operations within the next 12 months. Potentially, this could equate to more than 2,500 jobs which is great news for the region.”
Although enquiries are largely confidential at the moment, he adds, it has meant industrial land values have increased quite significantly in the Black Country.
A recent transaction in Bilston of £300,000 per acre is typical of land values now being achieved, says Seeley. However, the pressure is on for developers to find sites to build on with the shortage of space being a key issue.
A good example of this demand is the pending arrival of TK Maxx in February 2005, which recently took 24,765sq m at Green Lane, by far the biggest deal in Walsall for years. The £16.5M development, known as Sterlingreen on the former Sterling Tube factory site near the M6’s J10, is a joint venture between local developer Antringham and Coltham Developments.