Brownfield regeneration and property investment specialist Harworth has raised £27.8 million to accelerate growth of its strategic land bank to approximately 2,750 acres, including 10,429 consented residential plots and approximately 10.4 million consented sq ft of commercial space.
The company recently entered into four option agreements to acquire nearly 200 acres capable of delivering more than 1,500 residential plots and 600,000 sq ft of new commercial space requiring £19.2 million to exercise the options and fund the first three years of expenditure on planning, remediation and infrastructure works, and further site assembly.
Four further potential strategic land opportunities are in negotiation, to acquire in aggregate up to 407 acres of strategic land for both residential and commercial development, requiring approximately £15.5 million investment.
There are two commercial among the four optioned sites: an option to acquire 24 acres at Chatterley Valley, Stoke adjacent to an existing Harworth site. This site is part of a Government Enterprise Zone which has overall planning consent for 860,000 sq ft of commercial space and includes direct development opportunities.
As well as a 12-acre site at Bewshill Farm, Bolton that has the potential to deliver 150,000 sq ft of direct development space as an extension of Harworth’s successful Logistics North development.
The Company manages a portfolio of around 22,000 acres over 140 sites with a gross aggregate value of £400.3 million (as at 31 December 2016).
The Company’s strategy and focus is on regional markets where strong residential, industrial and logistics occupier demand remains supportive of growth.
While the outcome of the EU Referendum has led to uncertainty in London and the South East property markets, Harworth’s core regional markets of the North of England and the Midlands have remained strong and steady. The Directors believe that regional economic imbalances are starting to be addressed and that infrastructure programmes such as HS2 and those associated with the Northern Powerhouse are expected to drive sustainable long-term economic growth in those core markets. National Government policies announced in 2017, such as the recently published Housing White Paper (February 2017), also continue to support the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
Looking at its strategy regarding logistics the company says: “Investment demand for well-connected industrial and logistics space remains strong. The rise of e-tailing and the increasing demands of consumers is driving demand for well-located logistics and distribution space allied to an under-supply of new units across the regions.”
In addition to the Option Agreements, Harworth has four potential Further Acquisition Opportunities under review that include terms for a drawdown development agreement for a 75-acre logistics development site located in Yorkshire, and an option agreement on a 29-acre logistics development site adjacent to a major motorway junction in the North West of the UK. Harworth is also in advanced negotiations for the unconditional purchase of 40 acres adjacent to an existing Harworth site in the North West.