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Gloucestershire Commercial Property Update The South West

2019 was a thought-provoking year with the news dominated by an Election and ongoing Brexit discussions. This led to uncertainty in the market place but with both now resolved (or at least seemingly being progressed), hopefully business will proceed with some confidence. There have been several developments in the County, the most notable being Cheltenham Borough Council’s acquisition of 45 hectares of land being promoted for the development of a cyber park adjacent to GHCQ. Plans have now been drawn up revealing how the cyber business park could look and these also include a 24-hour campus with shops, cafes, hotels, leisure spaces and an electric bus shuttle service transporting people into Cheltenham. Approximately 3,000 homes are also to be accommodated on the site.

2024 is the date the A417 Missing Link providing a full dual-carriageway from the M4 at Swindon to the M5 in Gloucestershire is due to be completed. Highways England has held public consultations on the £435m project that would see 3.6 miles of dual- carriageway connecting the A417 Brockworth bypass with the A417 south of Cowley helping to ease the traffic congestion in the area and improve road safety which will be welcomed by most.

Gloucester City Council announced in early 2020 that they had purchased the Eastgate Shopping Centre following on from their acquisition in 2019 of St Oswalds Retail Park. The Council are aiming to transform the City Centre's offering of being traditionally retail to “one with a variety of experiences throughout the day and night for residents, workers and visitors".

The redevelopment of the Kings Quarter in Gloucester continues with the demolition of the former tax office with proposals to replace it with a new multi-storey car park, more than 150 homes and 40,000 sq ft of office space which will complement the new bus station.

The industrial sector continues to perform well with strong occupier demand and a continuing under supply of units.

St Modwen have completed the final Phase of their scheme at Gateway 12 with all of the units now let or under offer. This success has led them to continue the speculative development at St Modwen Park Gloucester where Phase 1 of three units totalling some 180,000 sq ft is close to completion.

Elsewhere Chancerygate’s speculative schemes, Festival Trade Park and Furlong Park in Cheltenham and Bishops Cleeve


respectively are both underway which will also provide much needed space for the area. At Gloucester Business Park the new facilities for G-TEM and Dowty Propellers have also been completed.

The local office market remains buoyant albeit the decision by Horizon to vacate their 60,000 sq ft HQ building at Gloucester Business Park after just over 2 years of occupation was a surprise. In Cheltenham, rumours suggest a tenant has been identified for the majority of Honeybourne Place which is great news for the town and will hopefully help reinforce its reputation as a recognised destination for local and national businesses. The Quadrangle is presently undergoing a significant transformation which will provide

occupiers with another option of Grade A space in the town centre.

The difficulties facing the retail market remain with the sector facing ongoing challenges with more people choosing to shop online. The Government has announced further incentives with business rates to help rejuvenate this sector but it remains to be seen if this will be sufficient to reverse the trend and encourage occupiers to take up space.

2020 has potential to be exciting time for the County however we will no doubt face similar challenges to the rest of the UK with some political and economic matters still unresolved.

ASH Chartered Surveyors - experts in all aspects of commercial property agency, lease consultancy and management

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