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Wales In My View by Owen Young, Alder King Owen Young


2019 introduced a number of opportunities for the country to enhance its trading credentials and competitiveness within the UK and Europe. Given prosperity has historically flourished around transport infrastructure, it’s a massive shame the proposed M4 Relief Road didn’t progress. On the positive side, the opportunity to abolish to the Severn Bridge tolls has been


seized together with electrification of the main Cardiff to London rail, which has already reduced the journey time by 20 minutes.


Wales needs to promote its attractive working environment, availability of established Universities and skilled labour but also its connectivity to the other markets, especially within the UK. Improvements to the motorways, bus and rail efficiencies and also policies to reduce the number of cars on the road are all vital if the country, and especially the Capital, is to attract the right companies and encourage organic growth. The Welsh Government is taking the positive step of acquiring the Core Valley railway network, allowing it to take more control of services and regain the trust, through hopeful efficiencies, of those people who would normally drive. Cardiff Council has also announced the implementation of a congestion charge. All of these improvements are ingredients to attract cross border organisations, increase demand and stimulate further development. There is no doubting the commitment of some Welsh developers willing to speculatively build in a steady, but not buoyant, market.


savills


At the end of September, Welsh Economy Minister Ken Skates launched Bro Tathan, a business park in the Vale of Glamorgan offering great opportunities for business, air and innovation and home already to a range of highly regarded businesses including E-cube Solutions, Bristow Helicopters, National Police Air Service as well as Aston Martin’s home of electrification.


The Minister also cut the ribbon on the new £15m northern access road to show an audience of land and property developers and a range of business leaders that Bro Tathan is open for business. Owned and managed by Welsh Government, the 1,200 acre business park sits within the Cardiff Airport and Bro Tathan Enterprise Zone and includes a fully operational 1,800m runway. There is a range of existing buildings available for immediate occupation and planning permission has recently been lodged to deliver over 400,000 sq ft of new and flexible hangarage space, specifically suited to business requiring airside access and services. At Bro Tathan East, over 130 acres is available for new build development with capacity to deliver over 2m sq ft of floorspace to satisfy almost any occupational requirement.


Demolition is actively underway in order to create serviced


development plateaus and a planning application will be lodged shortly. Recognising that a business park of this size with major employers needs a range of ancillary uses, Y Porth, the new gateway to the park will deliver a mixed use scheme on approximately 17 acres with capacity to deliver approximately 200,000 sq ft of office, hotel, retail and showroom type uses with the first phase, comprising hotel and retail uses due to be launched over the course of the next few months, with other phases to follow shortly after.


For all enquires please contact: scaldwell@savills.com or chloe.beard@savills.com T: 02920 368967


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Rising rents are a factor of demand and supply and we need rents to break through some headline barriers in order to attract more development / investment, much the same as witnessed in Bristol over the last five years but where the gap is widening when compared to its Welsh counterpart.


We have a conundrum where there are shortages of quality accommodation but demand is not yet sufficient to stimulate grander scale development. This has limited growth in headline rents.


In Cardiff and in 2019, the city witnessed a drop in office take up to 357,000 sq ft as opposed to a five year average closer to 510,000 sq ft, which doesn’t look positive. However, most of the new office development has been pre-let or quickly taken and we need more.


Indigenous company growth accounts for most of the take up and whilst inward investment certainly pushes the economic model, it has to be more sustainable to encourage organic growth by developing healthy working environments in cities and towns that are well connected to markets, uncongested and with easy links to the best educational and leisure facilities. Transport improvements will no doubt will play an integral part in this growth.


Contact Owen: oyoung@alderking.com Tel: 029 2022 0000


M7 powers up with South Wales warehouse letting


M7 Real Estate (“M7”), the pan-European investor and asset manager, has recently completed a new 96,521 sq ft warehouse letting at the South Wales Distribution Centre industrial estate in Kenfig, increasing occupancy to 100%.


OXIS Energy (“OXIS”), the leading specialist in lithium sulphur cells, has taken the space on a 15 year lease at £3.50 per sq ft. The warehouse will be used as OXIS’ main manufacturing plant in the UK and it hopes to grow the business and employment in the region over the next ten years. In the last few years South Wales Distribution Centre has attracted high profile tenants including Amazon, Bunzl Greenhams and Bunzl Lockhart.


George Gaynor, Asset Manager at M7, commented: “OXIS Energy represents another great addition to this estate and it is a significant letting in terms of both the commitment and covenant. Moreover, this letting demonstrates the strong rental growth in the South Wales industrial market, where well specified space is at a premium, and is exactly the kind of asset management we seek to undertake to generate value from our assets.”


COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2020


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