By Richard Baker, a Director of Prop-Search:
The 21st century has arguably seen Corby’s greatest reinvention; on all fronts the town is booming – in terms of population growth, new homes and employment – having firmly shaken off the post-industrial ashes.
As a former industrial town, the Borough was surrounded by brownfield land and so well placed to expand, as long as demand could be created. The urban regeneration plans intended to significantly regenerate Corby as an attractive town – fit for the 21st century – through diversifying the local economy and jobs market, improving connectivity and growing its population.
On all three fronts this has been achieved. The town’s population has risen by 30 per cent since 2001 to a little under 70,000 and is predicted to grow by just shy of a third in the next two decades – with only the London borough of Tower Hamlets likely to outpace it. Since that time, regeneration has been significant with some 6,000 new homes having been built and construction continuing, attracting commuters with prices 60 per cent lower than the London average and with a new train-line that puts the town within just over an hour of the capital.
The latest logistics company set to move into Corby is Europa Worldwide Group, which has committed to a new £60 million 715,000 sq ft facility at Midlands Logistics Park. The company is an independent logistics operator experiencing strong results and was recently featured in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the second time. It delivers a cost-effective solution offering a range of value-added capabilities including e-commerce fulfilment, production services, inventory management, packing, labelling, special deliveries, final assembly, quality control and critical parts management.
Construction of the new facility has been agreed with Corby Land and Development Ltd, a joint venture between Mulberry Developments and Frogmore. The building is being constructed to a high-quality including above market specification 18 metre eaves height which will facilitate three floors of mezzanine. Completed is scheduled for June this year.
Midlands Logistics Park, covering 150 acres, is built on the site of a former British Steel quarry and latterly Stanion Plantation, and since 2015 has created some 2,200 local jobs. Other blue chip occupiers within the Park include Eddie Stobart’s 844,000 sq ft distribution centre and a recently completed 945,375 sq ft national distribution centre for BSH Home Appliances, part of the Bosch Group.
Plans to construct a new warehousing development on 400 acres of land to the east of Midlands Logistics Park, remain with Corby Borough Council. The outline application, submitted just over a year ago by Greatline Developments Limited and Mulberry Developments – if approved – could see the construction of up to 4.35 million sq ft of warehousing and ancillary buildings. It is likely that these will be predominately aimed at the distribution logistics market, with units ranging from 575,000 sq ft up to just over one million sq ft.
With terms having been agreed with a company which has submitted a planning application for the construction of buildings on a 7.6 acre site, which forms the northern portion of the remaining development land at Manton Park, on Cockerell Road. The site has also previously been used in connection with steelworks and railway siding. The development proposal is to construct a new automotive facility for the collection, storage and repair of cars for onward dispatch, supported by a car parking with 900 spaces. Additionally, it is proposed to undertake storage and specialist restoration of classic and exotic cars, as well as office, management and administration support facilities.
South of this site, work is well underway on the town’s first speculative development of its kind for a number of years, with the construction of a new 10-unit industrial and trade counter scheme by Clowes, which is being marketed by Prop-Search and TDB. Centrix Court, on the Centrix Industrial and Distribution Park comprises high-quality units ranging from 2,929 sq ft to 8,600 sq ft, with larger sizes available in combination, available on a leasehold or freehold basis.
This follows the completion at the end of last year at Centrix Park of a new 92,881 sq ft state-of-the-art food manufacturing facility for one of Europe’s leading bakery operators, Bakeaway. The new facility will serve as its new UK headquarters and is a fundamental investment, which will enable the company to continue its expansion strategy across the UK, supplying many of the top supermarkets. Prop-Search is delighted to have worked as part of the team to complete this transaction.
Corby’s success however brings its own challenges which will need careful consideration and management if the town’s growth plans are to continue to bear fruit for the future.