As the owner, developer, and operator of five commercial business parks throughout the UK, you may be forgiven for thinking that Potter Space’s sole motivation is to ensure our units are fully occupied with reputable companies. Naturally, while that is important, we believe we have an enormous responsibility to work closely with our customers to help their businesses build on their success and thrive. Indeed, that is the ethos behind our tag line: ‘a home for business’.
During the past seven months, our way of working has really come to the fore, with the Potter Space property team classified as key workers because many of our customers are essential to the supply chain. Throughout the period, we have continued to liaise with customers about their existing buildings and ways in which logistical improvements can be made to improve the efficiency of the operation.
Prior to Covid-19, we had already implemented several improvements which have helped during these difficult times. For example, we installed fully branded signage to make it simple to navigate around each business park. We also have plans to improve staff welfare across all the sites such as installing picnic tables and creating quiet areas. We have ensured our on-site rail links and terminals have continued to operate smoothly across our business parks in Ely, Knowsley and Selby, a site that is heavily involved with food logistics and e retailing. The 70-acre Ely park has invaluable rail links with the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich, less than 80 miles away, the former being the UK’s busiest container port, dealing with nearly 50% of Britain’s containerised trade.
On the other hand, our customer SUEZ Recycling and Recovery accepts waste from across Merseyside and Halton at the Knowsley park, compacts it into containers and sends it by rail to its Wilton energy-from-waste facility in Teesside. It has just reached the milestone of 100,000 containers, representing 1.3 million tonnes of residual waste, which have been transported by more than 1700 trains since 2013.
To further demonstrate our commitment to customers, we have continued to invest in building an experienced estates team with the appointment of Glennys Conlon, as Estates Manager, and Ricky Ho Chan, as Estates Surveyor. Glennys has more than 20 years’ experience in facilities management and is supporting me in maintaining a close working relationship with customers and handling any issues which may arise. Ricky has a first-class honours degree in Building and Surveying and is working closely with Alex Carter in the procurement and management of building works for new units, as well as progressing refurbishment projects, repairs, and maintenance across more than 1.6m square feet of commercial space.
As a team, we are progressing our £25m investment programme with the focus on developing new industrial units to be sustainable, environmentally efficient and to adopt the best practice. As well as receiving an A grade on the RPC rating for our newly constructed units, 51 and 60, we have just created our first carbon neutral build with unit 52; providing the template for future builds. Not only did we complete the build and successfully and safely move a customer into unit 52, during Covid-19, we are also the proud winner of the 2020 International Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice.
In addition, we can now safely social distance to get an aerial view of the buildings across our five business parks, having invested in a PfCO drone flying course for our Estates Surveyor, Alex Carter, which he passed with ‘flying colours’. As a CAA approved drone pilot, Alex can gain internal and external images of buildings and remedy any issues before they become a major problem, saving a great deal of money and inconvenience for all parties.
These are difficult times for us all, but we have risen to the challenge to help our customers perform to their highest level throughout. The Potter Space team is fully committed to continuing our investment across the business parks to ensure we provide the perfect ‘home for business.’
As featured in October’s 2020 Business Insider Yorkshire.