Stoford and Oxenwood let Warrington warehouse to global PPE provider

Leading commercial property developer, Stoford Developments, and its development partner, Oxenwood Real Estate, the UK and European real estate investment management firm, have let a new speculatively-developed logistics facility at Stone Cross Business Park in Warrington to one of the world’s fastest growing manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Global health and safety solution manufacturer, Globus Group, has taken a 10-year lease on Stone Cross 72, a highly specified 72,740 sq ft warehouse located on the site of the former Carlsberg brewery depot at Stone Cross Business Park, Golborne.

The letting will support Globus Group’s continued expansion following an increased demand for PPE in the wake of COVID-19. The manufacturer was recently awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Social Care to supply millions of high performance FFP3 masks. It plans to manufacture 75% of its products in the UK and has commissioned two new factories in North West England and South West Scotland, with the potential to create hundreds of new jobs.

Stone Cross 72 is the second phase of the Stone Cross Business Park scheme which reached practical completion less than six months ago. Stoford and Oxenwood Real Estate sold the existing 126,000 sq ft logistics facility on Stone Cross Business Park to international packaging firm, ALPLA, last year.

Steven Binnie, Director said: “We are delighted to be deepening our commitment to the North West, creating new jobs and making our contribution to the vibrant regional economy. For generations we have protected UK workers exposed to respiratory hazards in the workplace. Our increased PPE manufacturing will enable dedicated frontline healthcare workers to do their jobs safely in the fight against COVID-19 as we move into this critical winter period. This equipment will be produced through our Alpha Solway division at the new Warrington manufacturing facility.”

Globus’ Warrington manufacturing facilities will be recruiting for jobs across the spectrum, from skilled workers, to training and apprentice positions. Job roles will include production operatives, process engineers, quality management, and HR and supervision.

Tony Nash, Director, Stoford Developments, said: “Globus Group is an expanding business that continues to provide an important service during the pandemic and its investment in Stone Cross 72 is a significant boost to the local employment market. The Stone Cross Business Park scheme was constructed to meet the continuing demand in the warehouse sector in the North West. We have delivered two high specification industrial/warehouse units in a prime logistics location with outstanding motorway connectivity that have attracted considerable interest from occupiers.”

Stewart Little, co-founder of Oxenwood Real Estate, said: “The successful letting of the building so soon after practical completion supports our strategy of undertaking speculative development in locations where we have high conviction in underlying occupational markets. The letting follows on from the sale of part of the site to Alpla earlier this year and stabilises the wider asset, which was acquired vacant from Carlsberg in December 2018. Globus has committed to a long-term lease at the building, as it looks to grow its business in the region and we look forward to working with them.”

Jason Print, Partner at Gerald Eve, said: “Securing the letting of this speculatively developed unit to Globus within six months of practical completion demonstrates the strength of the North West market, with strong demand and a limited supply of available good quality units which continues to diminish.”

Robert Dunston of niche industrial property consultancy RGD Consulting represented Globus Group in the acquisition and adds: “The speed at which all parties acted to pull this deal together has been fantastic, including Wigan Council, who delivered a change of use consent in short order. All this enables Globus to swiftly fulfill its newly won contract with NHS at a time of unprecedented global crisis.”