Harworth Group plc has entered into a joint venture with the Lancashire County Pension Fund (“LCPF”) advised by Local Pension Partnership and Knight Frank Investment Management to develop the next phase of its Logistics North development in Bolton, Greater Manchester – the largest live commercial development in the North West of England.
- The joint venture, known as the Multiply Logistics North Limited Partnership (“Multiply Logistics North”) is expected to deliver ten commercial units totalling approximately 564,000 sq. ft across 31.2 acres. The land will be sold to, and then developed by, Multiply Logistics North.
- LCPF will fund 80% of the acquisition and the development, with Harworth funding the remaining 20%. The parties will take corresponding interests in Multiply Logistics North. Harworth will also undertake development management and asset management roles within the joint venture.
- The new units will be constructed in three separate phases. The first phase will see three units – ranging from 45,000 sq. ft to 64,000 sq. ft – being constructed by the end of December 2017, with Buckingham Group already appointed as principal contractor. The second phase will deliver six new units – ranging from 19,000 sq. ft to 149,000 sq. ft – during 2018, whilst the final unit of 131,000 sq. ft will be constructed in the third phase. All units will be made available for leasehold occupation upon completion.
- The Lancashire Country Pension Fund was advised by the Local Pension Partnership and Knight Frank Investment Management, whilst Harworth was jointly advised by JLL and B8 Real Estate.
- Logistics North is the North West of England’s largest live commercial development, with consent in place to deliver 4 million sq. ft of commercial space over 250 acres next to Junction 4 of the M61.
- The deal is the seventh at Logistics North in the past three years, following freehold land sales to Aldi, Lidl, MBDA, Joy Global and Exeter Property Group and Harworth’s forward funding agreement with M&G Real Estate to build two new units, known as Logistics 225 and Logistics 175. Whistl took a ten year lease on Logistics 225 in January 2017 following its practical completion a month earlier.
- Since receiving planning consent in December 2013, over 2.5m sq. ft of space has been built or is committed to be built at Logistics North, reflecting the strength of the logistics & distribution market in the region.
Ian Ball, Executive Director of Income Generation at Harworth Group plc, said:
“Logistics North has established itself as one of the North of England’s leading distribution locations and we have widely explored property venture transactions to capture development management, asset management and promotion fees from its future phases to continue to grow our income base. This deal both crystallises our land value and provides further income-producing opportunities for the business, providing much-needed high quality industrial and logistics space in a region with a scarce existing supply.”
Richard Tomlinson, Investment Director – Real Estate and Infrastructure at Local Pensions Partnership, said:
“LPP on behalf of Lancashire County Pension Fund is pleased to be working with Harworth on this exciting property development project to deliver best in class logistics facilities in its home region of the North West of England. By investing in the North West, the Lancashire County Pension Fund expects to benefit the local economy at the same time as delivering the investment returns required of the fund.”
Commenting on the new Joint Venture, John Styles, Partner at Knight Frank Investment Management LLP, added:
“We are delighted to have secured a significant investment for Lancashire County Pension Fund in one of the north west’s primary regional distribution locations where occupier demand is demonstrably strong. Working in partnership with Harworth with an alignment of interests is an effective way for our client to create an asset of the scale appropriate for a large Local Government Pension Scheme asset pool in a market which is highly sought after by investors.”
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said:
“The news that a deal has been finalised to secure even more development and investment at Logistics North is fantastic. The site is already a huge success with a number of major companies already operating from there and this agreement will bring even more investment to Bolton and provide new jobs for our residents. I am confident that there will be other exciting announcements about Logistics North for many months to come.”