By Richard Baker BSc MRICS, a Director of Prop-Search:
With Corby excelling in capturing demand from food processing and packing companies, it is no surprise to see this trend continuing says commercial property agent, Prop-Search, with the town having a strong history in shift work – a counter to the perception of being unionised.
Such companies already based in the town include Mademoiselle Desserts, a cake a desserts manufacturer with a turnover of 260 million; Oakhouse Foods, which makes frozen ready meals; and Blue Sky Holdings, a salad producer which relocated from Kent to a 50,000 sq ft facility.
These important employers are now complemented by Jacksons, which has opened its new £40 million state-of-the-art bakery on a 10 acre site on Genner Road, on the Willowbrook Industrial Estate. The Hull based business, part of the William Jackson Food Group, announced last year that work was to start on the facility in Corby – specifically designed to make bread for sandwich manufactures and foods service customers. Fifty jobs have reported already been created at the factory, which supports Jackson’s main bakery, in Hull that produces some two million loaves a week, including Jackson’s Yorkshire’s Champion brand.
At the end of last year, multi-temperature supply chain and logistics specialist Oakland International confirmed it is to invest a further £2.8 million in a high-bay extension to its Corby facility on Eismann Way. The decision to expand in Corby is as a result of the site’s strategic ability to fulfil the company’s core distribution requirements for a number of large UK retailers.
The company launched in Corby in March 2017 and has since developed its relations with the Corby Borough Council and its Planning Department, which has given the company a great confidence boost and played a significant part in its investment and further growth in the Corby region. Working in conjunction with its landlord, Norwich Council, the extended hub will deliver a multi-temperature proposition to the market for chilled, frozen and ambient storage, and the company plans to support the development by recruiting wherever possible within the local area by the end of the year.
Construction is also likely to commence this year on the development of a prime 1.5 acre site on the Southern Gateway Business Park – to be forward funded by a private investor – to deliver 7,800 sq ft of retail accommodation. Pre-lets have already been agreed to provide for a McDonalds Drive-Thru restaurant, Costa Drive-Thru facility, a Domino’s Pizza outlet, with serious enquiries on the last remaining unit of 1,000 sq ft being progressed.
Following the announcement last year of a deal to forward fund a new £81.8million, 844,000 sq ft distribution centre for Eddie Stobart – one of the UK’s leading logistics businesses working across the full supply chain in the UK and Europe – Tritax Big Box REIT plc has announced a further multi-million deal at its Midlands Logistics Park. Contracts have reportedly been exchanged, conditional on receiving full planning consent, to provide a new 945,375 sq ft national distribution centre for BSH Home Appliances Limited, part of the Bosch Group. The Bosch Group is the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe and one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide with high quality brands that include Bosch, Gaggenau, Neff and Siemens. The development represents an investment of £89.3 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 5.2%
To the east of Midlands Logistics Park, plans have now been submitted to Corby Borough Council for a new warehousing development on 400 acres of land at Cowthick Plantation on Stamford Road. Greatline Developments Limited and Mulberry Developments have submitted an application, which if approved, will give consent for the construction of up to 4.35 million sq ft of warehousing and ancillary buildings, predominately aimed at the distribution logistics market. Unit sizes are likely to range from 575,000 sq ft up to just over one million sq ft.
As activity shows, Corby is fast becoming the new hot-bed for logistics companies, with land supply tightening within the ‘Golden Triangle – where the M42, M1 and M6 motorways meet – and occupation costs rising. Being strategically located alongside the A14, Corby’s popularity has increased in recent years with local road improvements, such as Phase 2 of the Northern Orbital Road, also benefitting several employment sites, as has its strong history of shift work and migrant workers.