The rising number of businesses choosing to locate to business parks in Sleaford and other sites in North Kesteven has been welcomed, as optimism about the future prospects for the local economy grows.
Hodgson Elkington LLP, chartered surveyors who manage six business centres on behalf of North Kesteven District Council report 100 per cent occupancy at half of the sites in the district and high occupancy of the other three – with new businesses citing favourable costs, good transport links and quality of life as important reasons for coming.
This follows the completion of two more lettings at Billinghay Business Park and the new Sleaford Business Centre and comes at a time when North Kesteven is revealed in a Halifax bank survey to have the 36th best quality of life of all 405 council areas in the UK.
At Billinghay, a 1,260 sq ft unit comprising warehouse and office has been let to Advantage First Aid Limited, a new start-up business providing on-line sales of first aid equipment. “The helpful incentives, flexible rental terms and security on site have been important factors to us as I am sure they are they are to other small businesses in their initial stages of development,” said director Mrs Sarah Hacker, who also runs a catering business, The Baked Potato Company.
Bob Mills (UK) Limited, a Leicestershire based company supplying cotton sheets and fabrics has taken a unit and relocated its business to the Sleaford Business Centre, a railway station conversion opened just 10 months ago and already at 80 per cent occupancy. “The lower fixed costs, location with good access to Manchester, London and other parts of the country and the better quality of schools were primary reasons for choosing to locate here,” said Bob Mills (UK) director, Mr Nitin Noble who added that the company would shortly be recruiting more staff.
Mr Russell Trimble has moved his archaeological business into Unit 6 at the Sleaford Business Centre. The business handles archaeological field projects and evaluations working with local authorities in Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire.
There are now just two of the eight units available to let at the Sleaford Business Centre with a party potentially interested in one of them, report Hodgson Elkington.
“The recent lettings, occupancy levels and general interest in workshops, offices and craft units are a reflection of a genuine desire to reside in the district and Lincolnshire at a time when other areas of the country are struggling. The benefits of a rural location, with improved transport links provides new start and existing companies with an environment which is conducive to a healthy and thriving business,” said Marie Gutteridge of Hodgson Elkington who has handled the lettings.
Across the estate of 61 units in six locations, the occupancy is 90 per cent, with the Aubourn Enterprise Centre, Moorlands Trading Estate in Metheringham and St John’s Craft Workshops in Bracebridge Heath all at capacity; both Billinghay Business Park and Reedspire in Sleaford at 80 per cent and the Sleaford station site at 75 per cent.
North Kesteven District Council Leader Cllr Marion Brighton OBE said the confidence shown by start-up, and incoming businesses in the District and the Council’s provision for them, underlined the Council’s priority in supporting a vibrant economy locally.
“There are many reasons why North Kesteven is a first-choice as a place to do business which are underlined by the recent survey highlighting its quality of life.
“It is reassuring that high level of occupancy at Sleaford station in particular exceeds all aspirations so soon and that all of our sites are proving to be so popular, which underlines our fresh investment in the creation of 14 new workspaces at Bracebridge Heath to offer a further 15,000 square feet of flexible and adaptable accommodation to suit fledgling enterprise,” said Cllr Mrs Brighton.