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The commercial property review

PUBLISHED: 16:52 04 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:35 20 February 2013

Julian Capewell, associate at commercial property consultancy Bruton Knowles

Julian Capewell, associate at commercial property consultancy Bruton Knowles

Manufacturing premises in demand

Equestrian service launches



Cotswolds Property Specialist, Butler Sherborn is launching a new department within its existing estate agency business, offering a comprehensive property service to clients with a specific interest in horses.


The department will offer a property sales, lettings and valuation service, as well as undertaking property searches and acquisitions. It will also provide advice on planning matters and ongoing facility management.


Whether you need a country house with an acre or two for a pony, or run an equine business needing stabling, an arena, gallops and staff accommodation, our new equestrian department offers a complete range of property support activities, says Ben Way, managing Butler Sherborn Equestrian Services.


Sam Butler, senior partner of Butler Sherborn, said: We took a long hard look at the equestrian sector in the Cotswolds, and realised that whether through racing, hunting, eventing, polo or simply having a horse for pleasure, there are a huge number of people with very specific property requirements.


Many of us in the firm share this passion, and as a keen horseman himself, Ben has joined us to help manage this important area.


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The commercial property review



Manufacturing premises in demand




Demand for manufacturing premises beats offices and retail



Across the Cotswolds levels of enquiries for industrial space for let as well as sale are holding up, according to Julian Capewell, associate at commercial property consultancy Bruton Knowles. In fact, the industrial sector is the most active market with retail and office struggling to gain momentum in a weak economy.


The regions industrial property hotspots are clustered around junctions 9 to 13 of the M5. Manufacturers want easy access to the motorway network and many will specify, when outlining property requirements, that a site must be located within a 3 mile radius of one of these junctions. This is why Tewkesbury rates as one of the most desirable locations; its close to both the M5 and M50. Another requirement is for modern, high quality space with an eaves height of at least 6 meters in contrast to older style warehouses eaves heights of around 4.5 meters.


Bruton Knowles is currently marketing just under 30,000 sq ft of industrial and warehouse space at a site in the Tewkesbury area for the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. Because of the strategic location and quality of the premises, the space commands around 5.50 per sq ft. The surveyor has recently let 11,000 sq ft to kitchen joinery company Howdens and 6,000 sq ft to Cotswold Home Improvement (Products) at the same site. In last 12 months it has also sold two major factory units a 45,000 sq ft unit at Bishops Cleeve near Cheltenham and a 60,000 sq ft industrial unit, sold to Lakes Bathrooms, close to Ashchurch Trading Estate. Other recent sales include sites at Draycott Business Park near Dursley.


In general, there is healthy demand for high quality, modern sites, particularly from high-end engineering firms and the aerospace sector. This is partly to do with lack of supply; the availability of industrial sites over 20,000 sq ft is at its lowest level for over 20 years, which suggests there could be scope for speculative development in the future (subject to availability of funding) that delivers some large factory units. The Cotswolds has a number of successful manufacturers (many are featured in our Top 50 manufacturers listing) who continue to expand their premises, giving further cause for encouragement. The challenge is for councils to provide land for employment use that has ready access to trunk roads and motorways, which can be developed without the lengthy delays or restrictions that results from the close proximity of residential property.


On the flip side, poorer quality, older industrial properties, not within close range of the motorway network with lower eaves height, are proving difficult to shift. These units, and notably those along the A38, are seeing rents of around 3.50 to 4 per sq ft. But the regions lowest rents are to be found in Gloucester city centre at around 3 per sq ft. This contrasts with the regions highest rents, which headline at circa 6.50 per sq ft at Gloucester Business Park, primarily because of its proximity to junction 11A of the M5.

Grant helps cabinet-maker
secure new workshop



A Gloucestershire cabinet-maker has set up his fledgling business in new accommodation at Northway Trading Estate in Tewkesbury, thanks to support from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme and Fredericks Foundation, a charity that helps disadvantaged people set up or expand their own business.


Stephen Smith started up his cabinet-making business, Stephen Smith Furniture, earlier this year supplying high-end bespoke furniture and classic car wood trim, and quickly needed well-equipped and well-located premises.


Stephen said: Ive received fantastic support setting up the business over the past few months and am delighted at the positive start. Now Ive secured good quality premises at Northway, I can focus my efforts on growing the business further.


He has taken Unit E1 at Northway Trading Estate on a three year lease. The end terrace unit offers 968 sq ft (89.93 sq m) of warehouse space, with a full mezzanine floor of equal size.


Rob Holley of Alder Kings Gloucester office said: The refitted space perfectly suited Mr Smiths needs and he now has an ideal base from which to build his business. Northway Trading Estate is a popular and successful location with easy access to junction 9 of the M5 motorway and Tewkesbury town centre.


Grant Cozens, Business Adviser at Gloucestershire Enterprise, said: The New Enterprise Allowance scheme provides business advice and mentoring to assist and encourage unemployed people to return to work through self-employment. Stephen is a prime example of how successful this can be with hard work and determination and is a role model for others.


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Office move creates major regional hub
for Carter Jonas



National property firm Carter Jonas is undergoing a major expansion in its Oxford operation after moving several professional services teams into a 7,000sq ft-plus suite of offices at Mayfield House, yards away from its existing base in the city. More than 50 staff are moving into the new building, with many relocating from the firms other regions, including part of the Carter Jonas national Infrastructures team.


Carter Jonas existing office will continue to house the ten-strong residential property sales and lettings teams.


The new office at Mayfield House will accommodate the firms rural, planning, building consultancy and commercial divisions. Eight consultants from Carter Jonas national Infrastructures Team are moving in, together with the teams head, Carter Jonas Partner Mark Hall-Digweed. The team, relocating from its current base in Swindon, is part of a national network of 24 consultants delivering professional project management services for large-scale developments such as railway and major construction projects. Mark Hall-Digweed is also bringing the recently formed Public Sector Group to Oxford, which combine the firms core service teams.


In the coming months a Sustainability/Energy team will also be formed to strengthen the base for central/southern UK within the Carter Jonas national network for this sector, as well as a Valuation Team.


Mark Charter, Carter Jonas Partner who heads the Oxford office, sees the move as a major boost to the firms presence in Oxfordshire and the surrounding regions: The range of services we offer has grown considerably in recent years, and we now have expert teams in almost every property discipline.


This expansion brings our teams together and strengthens our ability to service client needs across the complete range of requirements, from rural to residential to planning and commercial. Importantly, it also creates a major regional hub from which we can cover our expanding client base across the south.


The four-storey Mayfield House was fully refurbished less than two years ago, which Carter Jonas project-managed. While the exterior was upgraded to incorporate glass-fronted retail units and new street furniture, the office suites were completely refitted to create a total of more than 20,000 sq ft of contemporary, spacious accommodation.


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Ski centre up for sale



Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre is up for sale through GVA Humberts Leisure. The centre first opened in 1973 as part of The Gloucester Hotel and Country club but now appears to be an unwanted relative following the recent sale of the adjacent hotel and 18-hole golf course. The Ski and Snowboard Centre is considered non core to Jupiter Hotels future business strategy.


The centre features a 220-metre slope, a 150-metre trainer slope, four ski lifts and a ski lodge. GVA Humberts has been appointed to sell the centre and is inviting offers in the region of 750,000 for the freehold property.


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Lettings hot up at Northcot Business Park



Northcot Business Park, close to Moreton in Marsh and part of the 55 acre site once part of the Churchill Estate, has attracted the Fire Protection Association into Unit 1 at the Northcot Business Park, a modern 6,000 sq ft fully refurbished premises which is to be used in conjunction with the FPAs expanding workload, according to White Commercial.


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Cotswolds popular for pub sales



Everyone wants a Cotswold pub, according to Colliers International, especially Hook Norton Brewery which has asked the company to hunt down suitable pubs in the Cotswolds.


Sites within a 50-mile radius of the brewery at Hook Norton near Banbury will be considered.


They might like to consider The Chequers down the road at Hook Norton, which Colliers is marketing for 795,000 and is described as a wonderful example of the gastro-pub style


Good food, bar trade, letting accommodation, external trading area/garden and sales or potential sales of 200-plus barrels, with 100 of those cask, have also been specified, Colliers International said.


Target areas include Cotswolds towns such as Cirencester and Cheltenham, together with Gloucester, but also outlying places including Worcester, Warwick and Northampton.

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