The developer has appointed contractor Caddick Construction to build the last warehouse at its 250-acre Bolton industrial park and targets completion in the second quarter of 2021.
Work is due to start on site this month after Salford City Council granted planning consent for the scheme in July. The 50,800 sq ft speculative unit will be part-funded through a £3m loan from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Evergreen fund, managed by real estate advisory firm CBRE.
The total anticipated development cost of the scheme is £6.5m, according to Steven Knowles, regional director for the North West at Harworth Group.
“We are pretty much at the end game of Logistics North and it has been extremely successful,” he told Place North West.
The RPS Architects-designed warehouse will occupy a 3.5-acre site known as Plot H, the third phase of the Multiply part of Logistics North. It will feature office space on the first floor and the design is intended to “mirror the quality of previous phases of development at Multiply”, Knowles said.
The industrial park lies southwest of Bolton on a site straddling Salford and Bolton local authority areas. Multiply Phase 2 was completed in November 2018 and comprises five units ranging from 19,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft and a larger unit of 149,198 sq ft.
Paving materials supply Hardscape, coffee machine maker Rijo42, tile manufacturer Solus, Utility Warehouse and Incontinence Shop are among tenants at Multiply phase two, while other occupiers at Logistics North include Aldi, Amazon, Costa, Greene King, and Dixons Carphone Warehouse.
There is one existing warehouse at Multiply remaining, totalling 249,000 sq ft, which will be available for let from November. At present, sofa retailer Sofology has a short-term let on 150,000 of the space. JLL and B8 Real Estate are the joint letting agents for the scheme.
In June, Harworth sold 2.2 acres on Bridgewater Avenue at the entrance to Logistics North to retailer A&F Forecourts, which has planning permission to build a petrol station and car wash and began construction last month.
Plot H, the final spec build warehouse, sits off Lomax Way, the main spine road of the 250-acre park. Harworth is targeting a national or global occupier for its regional headquarters, or similar, according to Knowles.
The group plans to do more of its own direct industrial development in future and is searching for investment opportunities across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and parts of Lancashire, particularly around Preston. In its latest stock exchange filing this month, Harworth said it has £63m of financial “headroom”, so could stretch to an eight-figure investment in the North West alone, according to a spokesperson for the firm.
“We are looking for good-size, strategic land purchases,” the spokesperson said.
Knowles added: “We are bullish on the market generally. Sheds in the North West remain a good, resilient opportunity as we continue to see businesses either increase their online presence or launch e-commerce ventures as part of an omnichannel approach. Digital is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ offer.
“Many other businesses are looking to shore up their supply chains to enable distribution from a broader range of points closer to their customers, to remain competitive. There are talks of a rapidly diminishing supply of grade A industrial units across the whole of the North West.”
Logistics take-up in the region rose to 1.4m in the third quarter of this year, a 79% increase on the same period in 2019, agency Cushman & Wakefield reported last last week.
Harworth is also progressing plans for Moss Nook, its first residential development in the region, which has outline consent for 900 homes, and is in advanced talks with a national housebuilder to deliver the first 240 homes.
Meanwhile, the group is awaiting the outcome of an inquiry by the secretary of state into its proposed 1.1 sq ft West of Wingates industrial scheme near Bolton, which was called in alongside other major regional planning applications in May.
“The scheme won majority support from local councillors on submission, and we will mount the best case possible for this Government inquiry,” said Knowles.