Royal Enfield reborn as speculative industrial park in Redditch

Ian Parker, director of John Truslove

The iconic Royal Enfield name is to be brought back to life in a speculative business park that pays homage to one of Redditch’s most famous brands.

The former Redditch manufacturing site of the iconic Royal Enfield motorcycles is to be re-developed into factory and warehouse units.

Local firm EDR Developments Ltd is behind the scheme on what was most recently an old plating works, with property agents John Truslove carrying out the marketing.

Derelict buildings, some dating back to the Royal Enfield era, have been demolished and work started in February with completion in the summer.

A total of 11 units will be constructed, totalling 24,210 sq ft.

Darren Ellis, a director of EDR Developments Ltd, said: “We are making a very significant investment which will bring employment to this area of the town.

“Aesthetically it will also make things a lot better than what has gone before.”

On Hewell Road, it will be known as Royal Enfield Business Park and is a part of the wider Enfield Industrial Estate.

Ian Parker, a director of John Truslove, said: “Following Hepworth Park and Acanthus Park – both marketed by us – being fully let, this is the only speculative development ongoing in Redditch.

“This shows confidence in the market where demand for flexible space has been evident for some time. We are expecting plenty of interest in this high-profile location.”

Also set to appeal to trade counter operators, the units are being marketed in three parts.

Units 1-5 are each approximately 3,228 sq ft but can be combined to create up to 16,140 sq ft. Units 6-8 are each around 1,076 sq ft but can be joined to create up to 3,228 sq ft. Units 9-11 are 1,614 sq ft, but together would comprise 4,852 sq ft.

The Royal Enfield story began with the manufacture of parts for the Enfield rifle – the legacy of weapons manufacture was reflected in its logo comprising a cannon and the motto “Made like a gun”. Royal Enfield was the brand name under which the Enfield Motor Cycle Company, founded in 1909, manufactured motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines.

During World War I Royal Enfield supplied the War Department with consignments of motorbikes fitted with sidecars capable of carrying stretchers. Other versions featured a Vickers machine gun sidecar attachment which could also be turned skywards and used against low flying aircraft.

Royal Enfield was loved, and continues to be loved, by enthusiasts, famed for the Royal Enfield Bullet, the longest-lived motorcycle design in history.

But, as with much of the British motorcycle industry, Japanese competition sent the company to the wall. Production of motorcycles ceased in 1970 and the original Redditch, Worcestershire-based company was dissolved in 1971.

However, the bikes were also being made in India and this remains the case today. Enfield of India continues producing the ‘Bullet’, and began branding its motorcycles ‘Royal Enfield’ in 1999. It now supplies models across the world.

Somewhat ironically, earlier this month it unveiled the Classic 350 Redditch model.

Rudratej Singh, president of Royal Enfield, told the launch audience: “The Classic is one of the most loved motorcycles from Royal Enfield. Looking back into our decades old legacy, we have given the Classic a makeover taking cues from the motorcycles produced at Redditch, Royal Enfield’s birthplace in the UK.

“In 2017, we are bringing the Classic 350 in Redditch Red, Redditch Green and Redditch Blue that re-imagine shades from our 1950’s motorcycles.”

Mr Ellis added: “We are giving new life to the original factory site and they continue to breathe new life into the motorcycles. Redditch can be proud.”