Investment fund snaps up Waterfront Business Park

A Black Country business park built by the area’s best-known developers has been snapped up for more than £15m by a London-based investor.

Bridges Fund Management has acquired the Waterfront Business Park’s nine buildings, with a combined 228,000 sq ft of office and industrial space, from intu, who own some of the UK’s most popular shopping destinations.

The park, which covers almost 12 acres, is home to eight long-serving tenants, including the West Midlands Ambulance Service, HMRC, Dudley College of Technology and the Black Country law firm, Higgs & Sons.

The business park was built – like the adjacent intu Merry Hill destination, which transformed the Black Country’s retail sector – by developer Roy Richardson and his late brother, Don, before both were later acquired by intu.

Bridges was advised by Birmingham-based property agents KWB, whose director Nigel Tripp confirms that the new owners will be looking to refurbish the park’s vacant space.

“They are very focused on the wider benefits of their investments, and always look for real estate opportunities where they can help reduce carbon emissions, revitalise business space and regenerate communities,” he says.

Tripp says Bridges was attracted to the Black Country because its strategy is to look for potential assets in areas which have challenges, but also significant potential for growth.

“Obviously, it’s very early to say precisely what will happen to the park, but knowing their track record, I’d expect them to invest significant sums in the latest energy-efficient technology, because they’re always keen for their investments to be sustainable”.

Matthew Roberts, intu chief executive, said: “We said at our interim results in July that part of our strategy is to fix the balance sheet. One way that we are doing this is through disposal and part-disposal of assets in the UK and Spain.

“In line with this, we have now completed the sale of the Waterfront Business Park to Bridges for its asking price of £15.5 million.”