Midlands Issue 76 February 2017
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With its fine art gallery, Walsall

has undergone major

regeneration in recent years.

Cushman & Wakefield has been

given the task of breathing further

life into key development sites close

by and within the Black Country

Enterprise Zone. Councillor Lee Jeavons,

Deputy Leader & Portfolio Holder for

the Region & Transport. said: “Jobs

are of the utmost importance in the

borough, which has been hit hard by

the decline of traditional industries.”

The main area for improvement is

Darlaston and Pleck. Within Darlaston

is the 44 acres of Phoenix 10, the site of

a former IMI refinery which could

accommodate around 60,000 sq,metres

of industrial space. In fact Walsall is

pro active in developing the new

infrastructure the old industrial areas

need, such as new roads. Jonathan

Turner of C&W said: “The delivery of

the Enterprise Zone sites will be the

catalyst for the further development

of the wider area. At present, there

is a lack of land for development in

the Black County.”

With the government developing

a new industrial policy

emphasising technology and

new processes, there is a

growing network of advance

manufacturing centres.

In the Midlands, there is the

Manufacturing Technology Centre

at Ansty, Coventry where the

construction company Skanska has

become a member.

The company aims to develop

new techniques at the MTC and

provide the ability to work in teams

with a range of new techniques for

its clients.

Mike Putnam of Skanska said:

“Our membership of the MTC

supports our aim to be a leader

in the development of new

technology, which can benefit the

whole industry. We need to find

smarter and more effective ways

of working.”

Neil Rawlinson of the MTC

commented: “This partnership will

be a significant game changer not

only for the construction industry

but also for the MTC as we are

poised to launch a high-profile

campaign with their construction

and infrastructure sectors that will

illustrate the range of technologies

and the impact they can have.”

Knight Frank believes that the

advancement in sectors such as

manufacturing, financial services

and technology will provide a huge

fillip for the Birmingham office

market. James Roberts cites the

re-shorting of manufacturing,

robotics, drones, autonomous cars

and fintech as components of the

change with a digital economy.

There are also the changes in

transport systems, notably HS2,

particularly its effect on Birmingham


The Midlands is in good shape to

benefit from new technology with

its well spread industrial base. That

means a vibrant letting market,

such as, for example, KWB handling

the 2,601 sq.metres (28,000



sale of an industrial unit to the

building supplies firm Kellaway

in Trow Way, Diglis, Worcester.

Kellaway has recently bought a

local timber and building supplies

company, Premier.

Kenny Allan of KWB said:

“The availability of good quality,

well located warehouse buildings

in Worcester is extremely rare.”

Developers such as Chancerygate

are playing a vital role in

providing the new space in the

Midlands. It has recently

completed three lettings at the

Octagon Business Centre and

Birmingham Trade Park.

Chancerygate’s David Tyson said:

“We have recently seen good

demand at both these estates.”

Commercial Property Register

February - April 2017




There is a healthy look to the

Midlands market with its

outstanding location for the

logistics industry and reviving


However, the key to the

performance is the growing

confidence of the local government

and the impetus for genuine change

that will restore the region to its

global importance.

This, it should be noted, is coming in a variety of ways notably

including advance manufacturing. That fits with the political impetus to

control globalisation and roll back the outflow of jobs and investment

to the Far East.

The impact of President Trump’s policies on international trade cannot

be ignored in a manufacturing region like the Midlands. Indeed it is an

opportunity that we hope the government with its new industrial policy

will grab.

The main reason is that the country cannot continue losing key tech-

nology companies to foreign buyers and watching the profits made by UK

operations leak to every corner of the globe. So a balanced policy is in

order with the government stepping up to the plate.

Here the point is that the developers are building the capacity in the

Midlands for economic growth and the UK has the capability of a strong

performance from its manufacturing and technology sector.



has added castings firm Chamberlin & Hill to its portfolio of

tenants after it agreed a 10 year lease for a 21,245


unit in

Walsall. The new facility could lead to the creation of 33 local jobs.

Robotics in action




St Modwen is another developer that has continued to feed the

expanding market with new industrial space.

It now has a major scheme for two logistics units of 30,471 sq.metres



.) at the Burton Gateway Business Park, Burton-upon-Trent.

Ian Romano of St Modwen commented: “These latest planning

approvals will allow us to continue to meet the shortage of prime

quality industrial space and logistics sheds on the A38 serving the


St Modwen has already built the roads and infrastructure on the park.

This is part of a wider regeneration project, Branston Lees, by the

developer which includes retailing, an 82 acre wood and a school.