Wales Sharpest contraction signals a big opportunity says Richard Tamplin of Lambert Smith Hampton in Wales.

Wales has witnessed a fall in supply of industrial and logistics space, which was one of the sharpest contractions of any UK region. The stage was set for speculative development but what will it take to secure success in uncertain times?

Whilst the final impact of Brexit is still unclear, the outlook for industrial property remains positive. Large retailers have long recognised the need to offer their customers omni-channel fulfilment, as one recent example, Argos and Tu shoppers can now collect items from Sainsbury’s Local stores. Maximum consumer convenience is what matters and that represents opportunities in south Wales.

Recent developments include the 430,000 sq ft purpose-built Aldi Distribution Centre at Wentloog and although Cardiff saw high demand throughout 2018, it is still suffering an acute shortage of available industrial stock, with around only 3% vacancy.

But a lack of supply is not just a factor in the capital. Further north along the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road, The Furnishing Service took 9,287 sq ft at the Pant Industrial Estate and the company is already looking to expand further and increase its vehicle fleet.

The removal of the Severn Bridge tolls will certainly boost the sector although gains will not be fully realised until the

M4 Relief Road is constructed to relieve the pressure on the M4 around Newport. With e-commerce and the need for flexible logistics a constant, there is a clear need for more development.

However, with Brexit uncertainty and evidence of suppressed consumer confidence and spend, a forensic knowledge of local market dynamics will be essential for any business operating in this space.

Opportunities beyond retail exists, evidenced by the recent 165,000 sq ft unit built at Celtic Business Park, Newport for CAF Trains. As well as design and builds, owners are refurbishing older industrial stock.

An example of an ongoing conversion is Edwards Industrial Estate in Llantrisant. The 249,253 sq ft former manufacturing site is now owned by Edwards Coaches and is being refurbished into a multi-let industrial estate, with a range of industrial units and offices on site.

Local insight, a close understanding of rents and site potential, as well as the expertise needed to secure good quality lettings, are the factors that will underpin long-term success in the sector.

Trebor Developments and Maple Grove Developments

A major speculative industrial development has started on site, located at Deeside, Flintshire, to deliver a range of accommodation from 10,280 sq ft to 50,000 sq ft.

Trebor Developments and Maple Grove Developments have teamed up to deliver this high quality development with the benefit of grant aid from Welsh Office. “Boundary Park” has easy access to J16 M56 and M53 motorways and is located on a prominent position onto the A494. It benefits from Enterprise Zone status, providing a range of incentives to occupiers.

Units are available on a leasehold or freehold basis, the accommodation incorporates yards of up to 40 m in a secure environment, with internal heights ranging from 8 to 10 m. Larger units will come with offices fitted out to Category A specification and incorporating combined heating and cooling system. BREEAM

“Very Good” sustainability will be achieved across all units, with a target EPC rating of A, providing for extremely efficient buildings with low running costs. The development is aimed at a range of occupiers locally and further afield, looking for well-located, competitive, quality industrial accommodation in an area where very little new build accommodation has been delivered for some years.


Units will be available from Autumn 2019, interest already having been received from a range of occupiers looking for good quality industrial accommodation, for either manufacturing or distribution purposes.

Bob Tattrie, Managing Partner of Trebor, on behalf of the JV partners commented, “Bringing forward Boundary Park has been a collaborative effort between private sector partners and Welsh Government, without whose support the scheme would not be viable on a speculative basis.

Despite being a challenging Brownfield site, the partners have worked hard to deliver solutions to services diversions and site remediation. We are confident now work has commenced on site and buildings will be delivered quickly that the levels of interest already shown will accelerate and we look forward to discussing with interested parties”.

Trebor/Maple Grove are represented by Legat Owen and Cushman and Wakefield. Eric Wright Construction of Preston is the appointed building contractor.


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