Bridges and Stoford team up for £20m Wolverhampton industrial development
- 18-acre site in Wolverhampton has planning permission for over 400,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space
- The development will bring a site back into commercial use that has been unoccupied for more than ten years
- Significant local demand for warehouse space – with potential to create more than 400 permanent jobs in an under-served region of the UK
The Bridges Property Alternatives Fund, managed by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”), and Stoford, a leading commercial property company, have teamed up to acquire and develop the 18-acre Prime 10 site in the Wednesfield area of Wolverhampton, at a total estimated cost of circa £20m.
The site – which is to be renamed Pantheon Park – is situated in a well-established industrial and logistics location near junction 10 of the M6 (via the A454); it is also close to the M6 Toll, M5, M42 and M54.
Bridges and Stoford (“the Partners”) plan to transform the derelict site into a high-specification warehouse and logistics centre. The site already has planning permission for over 400,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space with 24/7 operations, although the exact specification will be determined based on local demand.
The Partners are already in talks with a number of potential occupiers, reflecting the strong level of interest among local industrial groups in the West Midlands area, where the demand for high-quality warehousing space is currently outstripping supply.
The investment is in line with Bridges’ long-standing strategy of investing in property situated in under-served and regeneration areas, particularly where there is room for environmental improvements. The proposed remediation work to be done as part of this project will bring economically valuable land back into commercial use after ten years of lying vacant. In addition, it is estimated that the project could lead to more than 400 permanent jobs, plus additional temporary employment during the development phase – all in an area of relatively high unemployment.
Birmingham-based Stoford, which will also manage the development process, is one of the UK’s leading specialists in warehouse and distribution development. Between 2012 and 2014, it had more than 1.5 million sq. ft. of pre-let space under construction throughout the UK.
Dominic Stokes, director of Stoford, said; “Pantheon Park represents a rare opportunity for an ambitious logistics company looking to move to the region or expand its existing operations to have a high-specification build-to-suit warehouse, on prime industrial land. With full planning consent in place, we are in a position to quickly deliver a very high-specification building that will offer prospective tenants an extremely cost-effective solution. We are in no doubt that this site will bring enormous benefits to the area when it is fully operational.”
Guy Bowden, acquisitions director for the Bridges Property Alternatives Fund, added: “Our aim as an investor is to deliver attractive commercial returns alongside measurable societal impact. We believe the Pantheon Park development represents a great opportunity on both fronts: by reclaiming this valuable land, we can help to meet the clear shortfall in supply of high-quality warehouse space locally, creating hundreds of jobs and hopefully contributing to the regeneration of the area in the process.”
Dido Laurimore/Ellie Sweeney (FTI Consulting)
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000
Guy Bowden/Marina Aung
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Paul Skipp, director of Barques PR
0121 233 2080 / 07957 457911 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
About Stoford (www.stoford.com)
Stoford is a privately owned company established in 1996 to specialise in occupier-led property solutions for business. A leading specialist in warehouse and distribution development, it has delivered over 10 million sq ft of pre-let development and in 2012 to 2014 had more than 1.5 million sq ft of pre-let space under construction throughout the UK.
About Bridges Ventures (www.bridgesventures.com)
Bridges Ventures is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investing: using commercial investment strategies to generate attractive financial returns alongside positive social and environmental impact. It manages nearly £500m across its Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds.
The Bridges Property Alternatives Fund – which held a first close in May 2014 with £120m of equity commitments – invests either directly or via joint ventures in property and property-backed operating businesses. It targets niche real estate opportunities driven by demographic shifts and changing consumer needs in areas like healthcare, education, SME business space and affordable residential accommodation.
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