Over recent years the A14 corridor, which snakes its way east from the heart of the golden triangle to the Port of Felixstowe, has grown in stature as the importance of the east coast ports themselves has grown with the country’s reliance on foreign imports.
Andrew Jackson of North Rae Sanders says that much of the focus is around the north Northamptonshire region concentrating on the towns of Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby. Here, North Northamptonshire Development Corporation in conjunction with the government is actively seeking to grow the region. Between 2003 and 2021, homes for a further 31,000 people are expected to be built in Wellingborough, half of them on green field land totalling 892.07 acres to the east of the town and known as Wellingborough East or WEAST.
Jackson says: “It won’t be just homes that are needed but employment as well.”
The area has already attracted a host of occupiers including Monsoon and Homebase. The most recent new employer to Wellingborough is Kuehne + Nagel, which has secured ProLogis’ Crossflow 540 warehouse at its ProLogis Park Wellingborough scheme at WEAST on a ten year lease at a rent of around £4.50 per sq ft. Letting agent was Burbage Realty.
Down the road in Thrapston, Paperchase has secured Unit A at Frontier Estates’ A1M1Link industrial and distribution park on a ten-year lease at £4.75 per sq ft. Unit A comprises 150,000 sq ft with 141,600 sq ft of warehouse space and 8,400 sq ft of fully fitted offices, plus 141 car parking spaces. The unit was built speculatively as according to Charlie Howard of M3, joint letting agent for the scheme with Burbage Realty: “There was further demand for high-quality industrial space in the area.”
Close by, James Haestier of Colliers CRE is marketing the 637,486 sq ft former Ikea depot which boasts cross docking with 36 dock level and two level access loading doors, a 14.5m eaves height, 115 lorry and 156 car parking spaces as well as fully fitted offices on a 33.74-acre site. The warehouse is arranged over five bays and divided into three chambers internally.
Further north there is a great deal of activity in Peterborough, which was given a fillip earlier in the year when furniture designer and distributor Willis & Gambier moved its workforce from Saffron Walden into 545,000 sq ft of new industrial space at ProLogis’ Kingston Park. The developer has just completed a third speculative warehouse at the park known as DC3. The 185,000 sq ft unit, with 12m eaves height, 16 dock levellers, a level loading door, 44 lorry spaces and 124 car parking spaces.
In addition to the ProLogis scheme, Simons Estates and Frenbury Properties are promoting Gateway Peterborough, a 119 acre site which could accommodate up to 1.3 million sq ft in units from 171,000 sq ft to 685,000 sq ft. Letting agents are Savills, North Rae Sanders and Bidwells. Harvey Bibby of Bidwells says that Wrenbridge Land has its PE2 scheme in Peterborough totalling 130,947 sq ft boasting 12m eaves, 10 dock and two level access doors and a 48m deep yard.
More space is available at ProLogis Park Kettering, which boasts two units of 123,000 sq ft and 402,153 sq ft, then there is Eurohub Railhead at Corby totalling 150,000 sq ft, and two units under construction at Pineham DC136 and DC370 of 136,203 sq ft and 370,686 sq ft respectively. Looking further along the A14 corridor, Catley says that there are fewer opportunities as some local authorities are not as amenable to distribution as others.
However there is a fair smattering of options. Kilmartin, in association with Canmoor, has Buckingway Business Park which could accommodate up to 140,000 sq ft on Phase II while Wrenbridge Land has Link 428 near Papworth, which could accommodate up to 100,000 sq ft. Bidwells is joint agent with Barker Storey Matthews. Then there is Gladman’s two newly completed distribution warehouses of 140,000 sq ft (G-Space 140) and 58,000 sq ft (G-Space 60) at Saxham Business Park. Finally down in Felixstowe Gazeley is promoting it Felixstowe Portside scheme, which has outline planning permission for up to 530,000 sq ft of space.”