With industrial and warehousing space continuing to be in short supply, bringing new phases of development forward at this time is crucially important, particularly those which take a holistic approach to sustainability - a pre-requisite for our customers. That means we develop business parks that optimise environmental, economic and social sustainability in both construction and operation.
It is a strategy we have adopted at Potter Space Droitwich, as well as our four other sites in Ely, Knowsley, Ripon and Selby. At Droitwich we have embarked on an exciting new plan to build an additional 105,000 sq. ft of industrial units at our long-established and successful business park.
Potter Space Droitwich covers 38 acres, and is strategically located in the heart of the West Midlands with easy access to the M5, M40 and M6. It is not far off 100% occupancy with customers occupying more than 286,000 sq. ft of light industrial units. Fortunately, given the shortage of high quality industrial and warehousing space nationally, we have the benefit of a large amount of surplus land, which will ultimately enable us to double the size of the business park to more than 500,000 sq. ft.
Scheduled to begin on site in April, with completion expected by spring 2023, phase one of the project will see the creation of two units measuring 28,360 sq. ft and 21,895 sq. ft. Both are designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ accreditation, going well beyond the planning requirements, to ensure we provide top quality sustainable buildings for our customers and enhance the desirability of the existing site overall.
And as construction has yet to commence, now is also an ideal time for potential customers to tailor the design and facilities to suit their requirements.
Utilising the best local talent
Local construction partners will be key in helping us realise our goals, which is why we recently held an event to connect with local building firms. Covering all trades from bricklaying and joinery to plumbing, plastering and landscaping, the event was an excellent way to develop new partnerships and open up new business opportunities, as we progress over the next two years.
But with a significant amount of work to complete in that period, we are looking to build further relationships with interested parties, particularly skilled groundworkers.
Why are we investing in building these relationships? Choosing to create new industrial and warehousing space for customers in Droitwich means we are already providing opportunities for businesses to relocate and create jobs for local people. But that shouldn’t begin when the building is complete and occupied.
The construction phase offers a significant opportunity to support the local economy too, potentially offering up to 18 months’ work on site for contractors and specialist sub-contractors. We believe it is extremely important to foster good relationships with our construction industry suppliers, over this relatively lengthy period, as it provides them with stability and supports their own supply chain, such as the local merchants they use.
Placemaking rather than simply creating commercial space
As a business managing a total of 1.6m sq. ft of existing commercial space at close to 100% occupancy, and with over 40 long-standing customers, our focus on ‘placemaking for business’ is extremely important. This adds value to the local community beyond the purely economic benefits by integrating ideas that are capable of boosting people’s health, happiness and wellbeing. This means enhancing the quality of amenity spaces on our parks for the benefit of our customers and their workforces, which at Droitwich includes extended landscaped areas, dedicated picnic areas and nature walks close to the site.
These environmental and social sustainability dimensions, alongside the BREEAM ‘Very Good’ target, combine to create a responsible and forward-thinking development. And it is one that we believe is the model for all our future business parks, including our current 400,000 sq. ft of consented land and over 2.8m sq. ft of land in strategic planning across our sites.
[As seen in Insider Media]