One of the UK’s leading parcel delivery companies is to open a high-profile new facility on one of Swansea’s most attractive business expansion sites.
DPD is to occupy a new distribution centre at the 40-acre Parc Felindre, just off junction 46 of the M4, four miles north of the city centre.
Developer PMH and funder Equites Property Fund are behind the new development to be occupied by DPD.
Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea Council, said: “It’s great news for Swansea and south west Wales that a major business of DPD’s stature is investing significantly here.
“Parc Felindre is a tremendous location for business and I expect this first arrival to be a catalyst for other enterprise to invest and locate here.
“A number of developers showed keen interest in Parc Felindre when marketing began last year and I predict hundreds of jobs being created there in the coming years.
“Parc Felindre helps address the lack of readily developable strategic employment sites in the Welsh economy. It will help Swansea Bay become more competitive in both attracting and retaining business investment.”
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “Collaboration between the Welsh Government and Swansea Council has led to significant investment at Parc Felindre – creating a high quality, multi-use business park.
“This new private development brings welcome jobs to the site, helping increase demand as we look to attract further businesses and employment to the area.”
Louise Ferguson, General Manager – Property for DPD, said: “Parc Felindre is a great location for us and a key part of DPD’s ongoing investment programme to expand network capacity to keep up with demand for our services and improve efficiency.
“We’re building one of our new, state-of-the-art, fully automated distribution centres, which will be twice the size of the depots we were building just six years ago.
“Not only will that increase our capacity this year, but it will also give us room to carry on growing, to ensure we continue to maintain the high level of service our customers in the area have come to expect.”
Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “It’s enormously exciting that developers and big-name businesses see the great potential in this fabulous site.
“Parc Felindre is a prime location right on the M4. It has brilliant links to the whole of the UK. Driving times to much of the Midlands are three hours or less and the links west towards Ireland are well-established.
“The successful marketing of the site is a boost for local jobs and the local economy. DPD’s arrival will complement all the work going into Swansea’s regeneration and the region’s £1.3bn City Deal.”
Parc Felindre is on the site of the former Felindre Tinplate Works that helped make Swansea an industrial powerhouse. More than 2,500 people were employed there in the 1970s. It was decommissioned as a tinplate works in 1989 and the works demolished in 1996.
A joint venture partnership between Swansea Council and the Welsh Government saw the brownfield site cleared and remediated. The site hosted the National Eisteddfod in 2006.
New infrastructure is in place on site to allow development of high-quality offices and industrial premises to suit the needs of established and growing businesses in the area and from further afield.
The site has 12 fully-serviced plots ranging from 1.2 to 4.9 acres.
Marketing of the site began around a year ago, taking an open approach with a range of sectors targeted.
PMH have secured an eight-acre site for Equites and DPD on a 150-year lease in a deal jointly handled by property agents JLL, Bruton Knowles and the council’s regeneration team on behalf of the council and Welsh Government Joint Venture.
The income will allow the council and Welsh Government to fund further infrastructure works on the site.
Heather Lawrence, of JLL, said Parc Felindre was one of the most significant development opportunities in South Wales, offering a modern business park environment with excellent connectivity at the heart of the Swansea Bay City Region.
“We have received significant interest from occupiers and developers in the course of marketing and we are pleased to have secured the fledgling sale.”
Dorian Wragg, of Bruton Knowles, said: “This latest announcement is another step towards Parc Felindre fulfilling its full potential and being recognised as one the most significant commercial developments in South Wales.
“The business park provides a high quality, flexible environment for businesses and emerging industries and is expected to become a destination of national importance, set to unlock further growth potential for the Swansea Bay region.
“Bruton Knowles continues to manage a number of enquiries every month from organisations keen to explore what is available at the site.”
Ross Griffin, head of Savills Cardiff Investment, advised PMH on the acquisition and investment sale.
He said: “My client worked collaboratively with the council and Welsh Government and was pleased to get this deal over the line.
“The fact that DPD took the pre-let on this site shows the growing strength of the South Wales industrial market and demand for sites with excellent transport links.
“Investment demand is strong in the industrial logistics sector. We successfully sold the investment to Equites thanks to the excellent DPD covenant. The long lease and index-linked annuity income also appealed to Equites.”
The Parc Felindre site preparation and infrastructure was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Early site work for the DPD site started last month (note: March). DPD will move from an existing site in Llansamlet, Swansea, and plan to be operational at Felindre by the end of this year.
The DVLA operate a staff park-and-ride scheme at Felindre. There is no impact on that for the foreseeable future. Alternative parking options are being explored by the DVLA and council.
The site is offered as a matchday park and ride for Swans home games and the bigger Ospreys home games. Those arrangements will continue.
The location’s ongoing use as a public park and share site will continue.