Barwood Capital, the Northampton-based UK regional investment and development specialist, in a joint venture with British Airways Pension Trustees, has pre-let its logistics scheme at Manton Lane, Bedford, to A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, the West Midlands family-owned food and drinks business.
Manton Lane is an eight-acre site which has an existing outline planning consent for 10 industrial units totalling 150,000 sq ft. It was acquired in September 2018 for £3.5m with Equation Properties acting as the development manager.
A.F. Blakemore has completed the pre-let on a 20 year lease for a new 164,850 sq ft built-to-suit ambient, chilled and frozen warehouse as part of its national expansion plans, which will create more than 200 new jobs in the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Corridor. A planning application will now be submitted and A.F. Blakemore is due to take occupancy in Q1 2021.
Geoff Hallam, joint managing director, A.F. Blakemore commented: “This is an exciting development for A.F. Blakemore and reflects confidence in the company’s ability to grow in the markets in which it operates. The move will strengthen our reputation as a national food distributor, enable us to continue to improve our service to customers and ensure the long-term sustainability of the business. We have a firm commitment to responsible business practice, and positive engagement with colleagues, customers, the environment and the local community will be a clear focus for the business as we look to establish the new site.”
Hugh Elrington, managing director, Barwood Capital said: “To have secured such a significant pre-let at our Manton Lane scheme with a business of A.F. Blakemore’s stature and reputation is testament to Bedford being a strong location in the heart of the Growth Corridor from which such large businesses can easily operate a regional distribution network. We look forward to working in partnership with their team to deliver a first class chilled and frozen facility for their growing business.”
Kimmre acted on behalf of Barwood Capital; Knight Frank acted on behalf of A.F. Blakemore & Son. The rent is undisclosed.