Harworth and Lancashire County Pension Fund Complete First Phase of Speculative ‘Multiply’ Development at Logistics North

The first phase of Multiply – a new commercial development being delivered through a joint venture between Harworth and the Lancashire County Pension Fund (“LCPF”) at Harworth’s Logistics North site in Bolton – has been practically completed, with three new commercial units ready for occupation.

The units, which are 63,070 sq ft, 55,660 sq ft and 44,771 sq ft in size, have been built as a response to the lack of high quality units available to businesses in the North West and are aimed at businesses seeking units adjacent to the motorway network for rapid access to the rest of the region.  This first phase forms part of a three-phase scheme to construct ten new commercial units totalling approximately 564,000 sq ft, across 31.2 acres over, the next eighteen months.

Harworth received outline planning consent for Logistics North, the largest live commercial development in the North West of England, at the end of December 2013.  To date, over 1.5m sq ft of commercial space has been built with a further 1m sq ft under construction or committed to be constructed.  More than 1,500 people are employed on the site by occupiers including Aldi, Whistl, MBDA, Greene King, Costa and Komatsu.  2018 will see Amazon and Lidl open their respective units on-site, increasing employment numbers further.   Once complete, Logistics North is expected to deliver around 5,000 jobs.

The completed Multiply units have been built to a specification designed to offer high quality and flexible business space to occupiers.  This includes a BREEAM rating of ‘very good’, office space comprising 5-10% of the overall internal area, secure service yards with 38-50 metre depth and bespoke fit out solutions being available.  Buckingham Group acted as principal contractor, whilst  B8 Real Estate and JLL are retained agents for all of the new commercial units.

Ian Ball, Executive Director of Income Generation at Harworth Group plc, said:

“This marks an excellent start to the relationship between ourselves, the Lancashire County Pension Fund and Knight Frank Investment Management.  I am delighted that we have delivered these units on-time to bring further jobs to Bolton and the region.  New high-quality commercial development remains at an absolute premium across the North of England and I am confident that we will be able to swiftly secure occupiers for the three new units.”

John Styles, Partner at Knight Frank Investment Management LLP, added:

“We are pleased that all the new Multiply units have been delivered on-time and have been extremely impressed by how Logistics North has developed in 2017.  Our goal is to quickly attract tenants into these units and with significant pent-up demand for new space still existing in the region, we are sure that Multiply can help meet this business need.”

Councillor Linda Thomas, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, said:

“I am delighted that Logistics North will continue to create more jobs for our residents.

“Logistics North is the largest industrial development in the North West and we know that demand for units there is high. I am sure high-quality companies will continue to be attracted to the development and come to Bolton, which will bring further jobs to the borough.

“One of the site’s unique points is the country park that is being created alongside it. Work on it is progressing well and residents are getting the country park they were promised – it is an important part of the regeneration of the site.”

This milestone follows a series of developments in rapid succession on-site in 2017.  In January, Whistl, the second largest postal operator in the UK, announced its decision to take a ten-year lease on M&G’s Logistics 225 unit to expand its existing mail, packet and parcel and ecommerce business. More than 300 staff began working from its new depot in May.

At the end of June, Olympic cycling gold medallist Jason Kenny opened Aldi’s new c. 18,500 sq ft store that will employ around 30 members of staff on a plot immediately adjacent to Junction 4 of the M61.  Aldi already employs 550 staff at the development within its 610,000 sq ft regional distribution centre, which opened in April 2016 and features a whole floor dedicated to the Academy, Aldi’s recruitment and training department.

This was followed by the completion of two other developments on site in August, with the opening of Greene King’s new ‘Pine Tree Farm’ pub and a new Costa drive-thru facility close to the entrance of the site.

Multiply Logistics North, a joint venture between Harworth and the LCPF, was created in May 2017.  The agreement involved LCPF funding 80% of the acquisition and the development, with Harworth funding the remaining 20%. The parties took corresponding interests in Multiply Logistics North.  Harworth will undertake development management and asset management roles within the joint venture, including on these first three completed units. The LCPF is advised by Local Pension Partnership and Knight Frank Investment Management.