A £2 million investment by the Development Bank of Wales is transforming a factory in Bridgend that was once a munitions facility in the second world war into the new home of global technology company Markes International.
The 52,800 square feet unit on Central Park, Bridgend Industrial Estate is owned by property developers Wendon Limited and comes with 180 car parking spaces. Markes International has agreed a 15 year lease to relocate from Llantrisant in early 2021 as a result of the funding for Wendon. Terms have not been disclosed.
Other occupiers of Central Park, which comprises a total space of 140,000 square feet, include Harris Pye Marine and Clarke Transport. Pontypridd based Wendon is now using the £2 million loan from the Development Bank of Wales to complete the fit-out of the unit for Markes International which will accommodate high-tech manufacturing facilities and 140 staff (from a global workforce of 180).
Founded in 1997, Markes International is the world leader in technology for analytical thermal desorption for gas chromatography – technology that samples and concentrates trace-level volatile organic compounds prior to injection into a gas chromatograph.
Rod Parker is Managing Director of Wendon. He said: “Central Park has proved to be a very popular location given its close proximity to the M4 motorway and excellent public transport links. With a prominent position with the Bridgend Industrial Estate, Markes International will benefit from a new home that features plenty of its original heritage as an old munitions factory alongside the latest facilities including fresh air handling.
“Their decision to choose Central Park as their new home is a massive vote of confidence in Bridgend but none of this would have been possible without the support of the Development Bank of Wales. Put simply, it is their funding that has made it happen because without it we couldn’t have invested in the site to meet Markes’ needs.”
Tim Hawkins, Managing Director of Markes said: “Our business has grown significantly in recent years and we continue to be pioneers in the analysis of organic compounds in the air we breathe, the products we use and the produce we consume. We have long-term growth ambitions and this site not only enables flexibility to execute them, but provides a vastly improved working environment for our people. Interestingly one of the founding directors had family who worked in the munitions factory, so we already have heritage on the site!”.
Navid Falatoori and Joanna Thomas of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Markes International is a global name employing some 140 highly skilled people in the local area. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to work with Rod and the team at Wendon to facilitate this deal and keep Markes in South Wales. It really is great news for Bridgend.
“The accessibility of Central Park and quality of the fit-out being completed by Wendon means that Bridgend will benefit from the opportunities that Markes will bring to the area as they continue to invest in their business.”
Funding for the deal came from the Wales Business Fund, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Blake Morgan advised the Development Bank of Wales.