The South West Sedgemoor – a hotspot for investment

At the heart of Somerset is Sedgemoor, the fastest growing district in the South West. Already taking advantage of the growth generated by its proximity to Europe’s largest construction site, Hinkley Point C, Sedgemoor is poised to see one of the most strategically important land parcels in the UK developed. The 635-hectare site is owned by Salamanca Group, who unveiled a new name and vision for it at the annual Sedgemoor Business Conference. The Group’s intention is to create a connective, intelligent and sustainable campus, capable of attracting some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Geared for a cleaner future, Gravity will drive forward Sedgemoor’s aspiration to be at the forefront of sustainable growth in the South West. It will be a commercial hub for the region, accommodating foreign direct investment as well as nurturing local and regional businesses.

Aiding Sedgemoor’s expansion is its position midway between two of the region’s major cities – Exeter and Bristol – and its excellent connections by road, sea, air and rail. Superb quality of life combined with a tradition for manufacturing and innovation, have created a potent mix. With growth and infrastructure as Corporate Priorities for the District, it has been possible to embark on transforming the local economy to one of higher value. This has been abetted by the Council’s pro-active and efficient approach, as demonstrated by its joint first position nationally for planning performance on major applications. Alongside Energy and Advanced Engineering, Sedgemoor’s strong suits are logistics and distribution, food and drink, new technology, agriculture and tourism.

Other major strengths are a skilled workforce and the nationally acclaimed Bridgwater & Taunton College, which helps ensure a steady supply of suitably qualified people and now includes a National College for Nuclear.

Mercure, Bridgwater

Even with record growth, Sedgemoor still has an impressive portfolio of employment sites and development land available at vantage points close to the M5 motorway. An example is Bridgwater Gateway - a mixed-use commercial development of more than 40-hectares offering industrial and office space as well as retail and a hotel.

The well-established Isleport Business Park has a second phase that will almost double the employment space and Phase 2 of the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre is almost complete.

A third phase is planned. Reflecting a demand for visitor accommodation - both for business and leisure - in an area surrounded by stunning countryside, the Council has consented seven new hotels in the last few years including a 4-star Mercure, which opened in November 2018.

M&S Foodhall

Planned economic growth is supported by delivery of new homes at a rate of some 500 a year, new and improved road links, additional school places and regeneration of the District’s main centres. Bucking the national trend, Sedgemoor has seen investment and growth in the retail sector, most notably with the extension of Bridgwater Retail Park including stores for M&S Simply Food and Lidl. It is well-placed to press home these advantages and compete amongst the best in the UK for inward investment.

For further information visit email or call 01278 435537

Gravity, an artist impression

Bridgwater Gateway COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2019 55

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