Plans for a logistics and global content creation studio in Manchester for one of the world’s largest online beauty and wellbeing businesses have taken a step closer to becoming reality.
The proposed development, called ICON, will house The Hut Group’s (THG) new logistics and content creation studio in a 168,000 sq ft warehouse as well as providing 104,000 sq ft of office space over four floors. The development is part of THG’s co-location at Manchester Airport which includes a new 280,000 sq ft office building at Airport City North.
The development will be delivered by Icon Industrial at its 45-acre warehouse and logistics site at Manchester Airport.
Icon Industrial, a strategic joint venture by Stoford Developments and TPG Real Estate, has submitted a reserved matters application to Manchester City Council for the two buildings.
ICON could house up to 2,000 people who will work on the company’s expanding logistics function and video production and photography to be used across THG’s digital offering.
Dan Gallagher, joint managing director of Stoford Developments, said: “We are delighted to welcome THG to Icon Manchester Airport and their arrival is a fantastic boost for the North West. They have recognised that the site is in a key strategic location at the very heart of the Northern Powerhouse and its unrivalled airport connectivity will enable THG to reach its worldwide market.
“This project is the second exciting development on the scheme and the remaining land presents potential occupiers with an excellent opportunity to have a unit built to their specific requirements.
“The connectivity this site offers occupiers makes it a hugely significant site as an important logistics hub for South Manchester and the region as a whole. We can’t wait to get started on delivering this exciting development on behalf of THG.”
Matthew Moulding, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Hut Group, said: “Following THG’s acquisition and integration in 2017 of Hangar 7, the UK’s leading content studio, ICON is now the next step in expanding the Group’s content production and logistics capabilities dramatically. We look forward to expanding even further from here, attracting and retaining the most innovative and inventive talent from across the globe.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “As a first phase investor in Airport City Manchester, THG’s arrival is a major vote of confidence in the city and begins to unlock the major potential of Airport City as a hub for employment.”
Icon Manchester Airport is a build to suit logistics/warehouse development capable of delivering units from 100,000 sq ft to 700,000 sq ft on the remaining 34-acres. The site is fully serviced with outline consent in place for circa 1 million sq ft.
It provides excellent connectivity with Junction 6 of the M56 motorway immediately accessible, as well as Manchester Airport and the Greater Manchester region. Air and rail connections at the World Freight Terminal are also nearby. The area is established as a prime North West logistics site, which has major occupiers including Amazon, Fedex, UPS and DHL.
TPG Real Estate and Stoford Developments are building Icon Industrial into a significant logistics platform by acquiring and developing similarly attractive UK sites, as well as refurbishing existing buildings in prime logistics locations. The Joint venture recently completed its second acquisition, Icon Harlow which brings the total GDV of the JV to over £250 million. TPG Real Estate has significant experience investing in logistics while Stoford has completed more than 12 million sq ft of industrial development in the UK.