Harworth continues Investment Portfolio transition with asset disposal and letting of new Grade A unit

Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for sustainable development and investment, is pleased to announce the sale of Moorland Gate Business Park, Chorley, for £5.3m, as well as the completion and agreement of a 10-year lease on a 39,200 sq. ft Grade A unit at Gateway 36, Barnsley. Together, these transactions demonstrate further progress against Harworth’s strategic objective to transition its Investment Portfolio to 100% modern Grade A by 2027.

Moorland Gate Business Park is an 11.4 acre site located to the south east of Chorley town centre and adjacent to the M61. The multi-let estate comprises 18 units with total floor area of 134,200 sq. ft. Harworth acquired the asset in 2016 and through a comprehensive asset management programme has increased occupancy from approximately 40% at the time of acquisition to over 80% today. The sale price of £5.3m represents a premium to the site’s June 2022 valuation, and represents a net initial yield of 7.5% and capital value of £42 per sq. ft.

At Gateway 36 in Barnsley, Harworth has recently completed the direct development of a 39,200 sq. ft unit as part of the development’s second phase. The unit has been let on a 10-year lease to lifestyle fashion brand Lucy & Yak, generating annualised rent of £0.3m, and will be used for warehousing and distribution. The unit has been built in line with Harworth’s commercial building specification, achieving a rating of BREEAM “Very Good” and benefitting from the installation of solar PV panels, with the ability for the occupier to increase this to full roof coverage. The wider scheme includes 20 EV charging points, rainwater harvesting and a sustainable heating and cooling system, as well as a building envelope design that is sympathetic to the surrounding environment.

Elsewhere at Gateway 36, the development of phase two continues apace, with a further 71,000 sq. ft of Grade A space across two units nearing completion and continuing to attract good occupier interest. Planning has also been submitted for a 139,000 sq. ft unit at the site, which Harworth intends to pre-let before construction begins.

One of the central pillars of Harworth’s growth strategy, first outlined in 2021, is to transition its 3.7 million sq. ft Investment Portfolio to 100% sustainable and high-quality Grade A space by 2027. This will be achieved through largely retaining the assets that it directly develops, while disposing of those assets where value has been maximised through the completion of asset management initiatives.

Harworth was advised by Savills on the disposal of Moorland Gate Business Park and Knight Frank and GV&Co on the letting at Gateway 36.

“Against a more challenging market backdrop, Harworth continues to make great progress in transitioning its Investment Portfolio to modern Grade A space. Our Gateway 36 development, adjacent to Junction 36 of the M1, will be a major hub for logistics and manufacturing in Yorkshire, and we are very pleased to be welcoming Lucy & Yak as one of the first occupiers for its second phase. This letting demonstrates the attractiveness and suitability of this space to a wide range of businesses.”

Jonathan Haigh, Chief Investment Officer, Harworth Group plc

“This is an exciting milestone for Lucy and Yak Ltd as the company continues its mission to build a great business by being good to people, communities and the planet. Lucy was born and raised in Barnsley where her family still live. Moving into this space will allow us to eventually provide over 100 living wage jobs in the local area, which is one of the reasons we do what we do.”

Chris Renwick, Co-founder and CEO, Lucy & Yak