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

Gloucestershire Echo - - BUSINESS -

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.”

Stroud­wa­ter Thir­teen

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

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