New chapter as automated paper warehouse makes way for Liberty 196 logistics unit

(l-r): Cllr Jonathan Nunn, leader of Northampton Borough Council; Martin Byrnes, senior commercial manager, VolkerFitzpatrick; Cllr Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, Northampton Borough Council; Andrew Blevins, managing director, Liberty Property Trust; Nick Redwood, consultant, Equation Properties.

Construction work on the redevelopment of the former Howard Smith Paper building in Northampton has commenced and will be replaced with a new 196,000 sq ft logistics unit.

The Howard Smith Paper building at approximately 30 metres in height has been part of the local landscape for many years.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “The building has been a local landmark for years but we must move with the times, in line with changing market and industry requirements.

“We are particularly pleased that this development ensures that Brackmills and Northampton continue to meet the needs of 21st century commerce.”

Developer Liberty Property Trust and its partners Equation Properties say work is already underway to demolish the Howard Smith building, located on the Brackmills Industrial Estate.

Work will start on the new high quality warehouse once the site has been cleared and it is expected to achieve practical completion in Q1 2019.

Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty Property Trust, said: “This redevelopment promises to be great news for Northampton as it is a rare and exceptional opportunity to redevelop a redundant space into a modern logistics unit in such a prime and well established location.

“It will create more local jobs and will undoubtedly attract a well-known logistics name because of its superb location with excellent access to the M1 and national motorway network. We’re very much looking forward to developing the site.”

The new logistics unit, to be known as Liberty 196, will comprise of 176,000 sq ft of warehouse and approximately 15,500 sq ft warehouse office, 4,500 sq ft hub office and yard areas on two elevations.

Nick Redwood representing Equation Properties said: “The positive support we have received from the local planning authority and regeneration team has been critical to us moving our proposals forward quickly to help meet growing local demand.”

Liberty 196 will be at the gateway to the Brackmills Industrial Estate Business Improvement District, which is one of the most prominent locations for logistics and distribution in the country. It comprises 730 acres of industrial, warehousing and office space and is home to 150 companies, including DHL, Great Bear, Howdens, Wickes and ASDA. More than 11,000 people are employed on the estate.

Burbage Realty and DTRE have been retained as letting agents on the project.