Clearing the route for life in the fast lane
SOPHIE FLOWERS looks at how the M5 is increasingly key to the county’s economic success
THE M5 is the lifeblood of Gloucestershire – thousands of us use it to get to work and beyond each day.
Sandwiched between the junction for the M4 down south and the M50 and M6 in the north, Gloucestershire’s stretch of motorway has its own microeconomy.
As well as the success of the awardwinning Gloucester Services, the number of business parks locating themselves off various junctions of the motorway show the M5 is no longer a place to dread, it is the place to do business.
Gateway 12 Business Park
The £22million Gateway 12 Business Park at Hardwicke has been completed by developer and regeneration specialist St Modwen.
In November the developer finished the final speculative warehousing and industrial unit at the park with the potential to create more than 90 local jobs once occupied.
The newly-completed Unit 1 spans 66,000sq ft of commercial space.
Its completion concludes the final development phase at Gateway 12, which provides 285,000sq ft of prime location logistics and production space for Gloucestershire with a long-term jobs growth potential of more than 400.
Gateway 12 is home to kitchen firm Procook, home furnishing supplier Warwick Fabrics and retail giant Amazon, which moved its Book Depository subsidiary into the regional distribution centre in May, creating more than 100 new jobs.
St Modwen West and Wales development director Peter Davies said: “Close proximity to the M5 motorway makes Gateway 12 the perfect choice for medium-sized logistics and warehousing firms looking to expand or move to the area and this has underpinned our speculative building programme on site.
“It is one of three developments we have underway across Gloucestershire in line with our core purpose of changing places and creating better futures.”
Quedgeley East Business Park
The same developers are focusing on the first phase of employment space at its 58-acre Quedgeley East Business Park, adjacent to junction 12 of the M5 in Gloucestershire.
St Modwen got the green light for the plans in November for the site which is envisaged to accommodate 935,000sq ft and approximately 1,250 jobs
Due to be delivered in phases, the speculative construction of the first three units will start next year to provide a total of 178,000sq ft of industrial and warehousing space for occupation at the end of 2019.
Pete Davies added: “Demand for premium quality warehouse and industrial space close to the motorway is the driving force behind our building programme for Quedgeley East Business Park.
“The green light to develop 935,000sq ft will allow us to meet occupier requirements and attract significant inward investment for Gloucestershire.
“The initial three buildings will provide 45,000sq ft, 60,000sq ft and 73,000sq ft to rent.
“We are ready to deliver build to suit facilities up to approximately 400,000sq ft immediately adjacent to Junction 12.”
Further south near Junction 13 of the M5, Robert Hitchins Ltd has opened up six acres of new, serviced employment land following completion of the infrastructure for 1,300 new homes and a local centre at Stonehouse.
Stroudwater Thirteen is the first phase of a business park bas part of a major mixed-use scheme on land jointly owned with Redrow.
The site in Oldends Lane has outline planning consent for industrial and warehousing, B1, B2 and B8 uses and has the potential to provide up to 70,000sq ft of new business space creating hundreds of new jobs.
It has become available due to the recently-completed infrastructure for the new housing and forms an extension to Stroudwater Business Park, where major occupiers include Schlumberger, Renishaw, Dairy Crest, Dentsply and Delphi.
Robert Hitchins senior development manager Michael Plimmer said: “Robert Hitchins Ltd has a good track record of delivering new office and industrial development locally, particularly at Stonehouse Business Park where we developed a variety of units for major occupiers including Sartorius.
“We are now really excited about working with Redrow on this brand new scheme.
“The site is brilliantly situated near Stonehouse, Stroudwater Business Park and the M5 and we’re very optimistic that there will be strong demand in an area with great transport links and the potential for hundreds of jobs.”
Quedgeley East Business Park, above left, and Gateway 12. Below left, Michael Plimmer and Simon Lyes from Robert Hitchins at Stroudwater Thirteen