Rochdale set for £20m of new industrial units


Rochdale Council is planning on building £20m of new industrial units after reaching 100% capacity.

The council’s portfolio of 118 industrial units is at full occupancy with a lengthy waiting list of businesses wanting to move into the borough.

Rochdale Development Agency manages the council’s property portfolio and is just about to go out to tender on a new 13-unit, 24,000 sq ft development off Oldham Road.

One of the newest arrivals to the borough is D&G Utilities, which moved into Rochdale Council’s Logic development at Kingsway Business Park.

Managing director Richard Bennett said: “Our headquarters are in Rotherham but we were attracted to the high existing skillset in Rochdale and we felt we could tap into it. We’re right next to the M62 and we can manufacture from this site. It’s perfect for us.”

Bob Neave, of Bob’s Biltong, has two units at Phoenix Close Industrial Estate in Heywood, with a third one undergoing a fit-out.

He said: “We came to the UK nearly 20 years ago from South Africa and settled in Rochdale. I started Bob’s Biltong from my house but as it grew I took on industrial space and found Rochdale was the perfect place to base my business. We currently have six staff but have plans to grow further.”

Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business, skills and employment, said the borough was getting calls on a daily basis from companies looking for space in Rochdale.

He said: “They’re all occupied and there’s a massive demand for units at the moment. We saw a lot of interest, particularly over the lockdown period, from logistics companies and businesses that are expanding.

“We haven’t lost a single tenant due to COVID-19. We’ve had a couple of tenants deciding to retire, but these units have been re-let immediately.

“We’ve got a pipeline of about £20m-worth of projects coming forward across various sites in the borough.”

He said the rent collection for the past quarter to the end of September was 95%.

The council’s portfolio of 118 industrial buildings across 10 estates total 172,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Cllr Blundell added: “Our occupants range from SMEs to sole traders.

“Rochdale’s resilience has shone through during COVID-19. Businesses have continued to trade through the pandemic. A lot of them are online businesses, which has helped.”

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