Sheds and offices back in favour

Sheds and offices back in favour

Development is picking up fast commercially in the North East

Highbridge Properties, owner of Cobalt Business Park – the UK’s largest office park – has set out plans for a second North Tyneside site. This will become Indigo Industrial Park, 82 acres with space for more than 1,000 jobs. Director Adrian Hill says properties of up to 750,000sq ft – unprecedented in the region – will feature. The site on Sandy Lane, near the A1 at Gosforth Park racecourse, is a collaboration with North Tyneside Council. Knight Frank and Storeys Edward Simmonds will be the agents. Over 12,000 people work at Cobalt, where security giant G4S is one of three new lettings, having taken 10,000sq ft additional to an existing 30,000sq ft.

Management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture has taken 10,000sq ft additional to 20,000sq ft already occupied. And IBM has acquired 5,000sq ft. Aidan Baker at BNP Real Estate is in talks with other major businesses.

Also, on North Tyneside, Naylors Chartered Surveyors have instructions to let a new speculative industrial development, Elm Park. Hellens Group is the developer with a loan from the North East LEP and an ERDF grant. The £2.6m project will provide 17 units (1,500sq ft to 5,500sq ft) at West Chirton Industrial Estate. Interest is expected from offshore and manufacturing sectors particularly. Units should be ready by May and GVA is joint agent. In Newcastle and Gateshead central areas, 34,000sq ft of much needed grade A office space is being created.

The spectacular Tesco-led Trinity Gate development beside Gateshead Metro station will shortly introduce 19,000sq ft over four floors. Agent Knight Frank says asking rent will be £16psf. At Newcastle’s new Stephenson Quarter that Silverlink is developing behind the Central Station, 35,000sq ft is being created in Rocket House, currently being built. On Teesside, Muse Developments is building headquarters for a new housing group on the 57 acre (£100m) Northshore scheme at Stockton. This is being developed in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency to a design by Ryder Architecture.

The 43,000sq ft building, beside the Infinity Bridge, will take up to 436 staff for Thirteen Group, a merger of the Fabrick Housing and Vela Groups, which together own 32,000 homes between North Tyneside and York. Simon Dew at Muse Developments says: “This development follows the delivery of the award winning Vivo residential scheme and is ahead of a new art Innovation Centre, due to be started.

“With phase two building of residential Vivo continuing, and 80,000sq ft of commercial buildings due on site this year, Northshore is one of the region’s most active regeneration schemes.”

Sanderson Weatherall and GVA are joint letting agents for the commercial element. A search is also on for a new developer to deliver a £200m Middlehaven Dock regeneration for Middlesbrough.