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| herts, beds & bucks


wo major promotions – including one of the country’s youngest commercial

property partners – have been announced by leading consultancy Kirkby Diamond. The move by the company, which has

offices in Luton, Milton Keynes and Bedford, heralds the start of an ambitious programme of growth in 2016. Kirkby Diamond is a full service firm of

chartered surveyors and property consultants working with local and national clients to offer a total solution to their surveying and commercial agency needs. Twenty-seven-year-old Luke Tillison is

one of two new partners confirmed by the property specialist. Mark Pepper has also been promoted to partner and is appointed head of building surveying across the group. Luke been named head of commercial

agency for Milton Keynes and will also have a responsibility for industrial and logistics in Kirkby Diamond’s offices in Luton and Bedford. Luke, who joined Kirkby Diamond in

June 2014, said he was now looking forward to playing a major role in the expansion of the company. “With the agency team almost doubling

Mark Pepper (left) and Luke Tillison

in size over the past two years, Kirkby Diamond is a consultancy that has demonstrated it has the expertise and gravitas to be the go-to firm in the region for all aspects of commercial property work,” he said. Mark Pepper joined Kirkby Diamond in

2008 and completed his Assessment of Professional Competency (APC) exams before working his way up the property ladder. “I’m thrilled that the existing partners

have confidence in my abilities and have promoted me,” he said. “To be part of an exciting, evolving and growing firm is a great reason to practise surveying at Kirkby Diamond.”


difficult economic climate that prevailed. Ideally situated in the north of the County, Hitchin has excellent transport links – just 8 miles from Luton Airport and the M1, 3 miles to the A1(M) and half an hour by train to London Kings Cross/St Pancras for onward links to Europe. On the borders of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, the town is well placed to benefit from the neighbouring L.E.P. as well.

H The town centre has

maintained a consistently high occupancy rate...

The town centre has maintained a

consistently high occupancy rate; the expectations of an increased commuter customer base has led to the addition of several leading niche retailers and the recent opening of a 60 plus room Premier Inn on a regenerated town centre site. The independent shop and restaurant sector remains equally vibrant. It has been said that you can eat your way around the world in Hitchin with Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Italian,


itchin has seen substantial investment over the last few years despite the

French, Turkish and Spanish cuisine sitting alongside traditional pub grub and cafes. Hitchin has two theatres, a film club, a

broad offering of music venues and an abundance of local organisations and single-interest clubs. Historically serving a rural hinterland of some 15 villages, it is but 5 minutes walk in to beautiful open countryside; indeed the foothills of the Chilterns begin in nearby Offley. Hitchin is a bustling market town but

with a village feel which says much about its community spirit; a town partnership, HItchin Initiative has existed since 1995 from which sprang Hitchin Markets Ltd set up to manage the market operation on behalf of the community and Hitchin BID Ltd – the Business Improvement District which was brought into being by town centre businesses to improve their trading environment making the town clean, safe and welcoming for all. With so much going on and so much

commitment it is easy to see why new people are attracted to the town. Hitchin is a great place to grow your business and your family. For a Town Guide contact Hitchin

Initiative at 27 Churchyard, Hitchin, SG5 1HP. Tel: 01462 453335 or visit:


centre gallery, Broadway Studio and Gallery, as part of a major investment in the town’s Arts offer. Work has also begun on building a new 400-seat theatre which will open this autumn, attracting touring companies, singers and comedians. It’s part of the Foundation’s plan to make the town a regional centre for the Arts. Premier Inn begin building a 57-bed


hotel in the town centre this spring, creating jobs and bringing investment, on a site near the station. Also in the town centre this year, a new restaurant is to open, from the upmarket Italian food chain Wildwood. John Lewis, Chief Executive of

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, said: “The new theatre is a key part of our plans to revitalise Letchworth town centre, which has also led to the attraction of three major restaurants, restoration of retail and residential properties for our tenants and the creation of town centre Royal Horticultural Society gardens.” Two established Letchworth

businesses are to move to new headquarters on the town’s Works Road following the construction of a new 90,000 sq.ft industrial estate by UK regeneration specialist St Modwen. In a vote of confidence for the town the scheme has been fully let to Tyco (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyco International plc) and DPD franchisee Titan Logistics Limited. St Modwen obtained planning

permission for the brownfield former power station site in 2014 and completed work at the end of last year. Following completion St Modwen sold the scheme for £12.3m to Cresta Estates reflecting a net initial yield of 5.23%. The Foundation have secured

planning consent to develop a new 15,000sq.ft facility on a previously contaminated industrial site. The Foundation have remediated the site and are due to begin construction in the Spring. The development is pre-let to FB Chain Ltd, a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial chain who are looking to expand. For more information, please visit COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2016

etchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation has opened a new town

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