New industrial units set for site of former manufacturer

The former home of one of the world’s largest machine tool manufacturers is to undergo redevelopment to help meet Coventry’s chronic shortage of industrial warehouse facilities.

The Alfred Herbert works in Edgwick Park was at one time home to Britain’s largest machine tool business until the closure of the company n the early 1980s.

The Wigley Group is now building a 65,000 sq ft speculative development on the site.

The existing building on site, known as the Top Shop from the Alfred Herbert era, is in the final stages of being cleared ahead of construction getting underway on eight 5,000 sq ft units and a larger unit of 25,000 sq ft.

The three-acre site, just off the main gateway from the M6 into the city, is owned by The Wigley Group and the new development, to be known as Edgwick Point, will be built by its construction arm, Wigley Building and Development.

It forms part of a 35-acre plot bought by The Wigley Group in the late 1970s, making it the oldest investment in the company’s extensive commercial property portfolio.

Large sections have been sold over the years to companies including Gallagher Retail Park and Lidl, and the new scheme on Canal Road, just off the A444, is the final piece in the jigsaw.

Robert Wigley, chairman of The Wigley Group, said: “When my father, who founded The Wigley Group, bought Edgwick Park from Alfred Herbert it marked the start of our venture into the commercial property market.

“It was our first investment in a portfolio which now spans well over 1,000,000 sq ft across the West Midlands and having since developed the rest of the 35-acre site, this scheme represents the last piece in the puzzle.”

The announcement that construction is about to start on the units comes as The Wigley Group attends this year’s MIPIM, with the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership, and Midlands UK.

James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “Coventry’s profile is on the up, particularly with winning City of Culture 2021, and the regeneration of this site is a major part of our development strategy and we hope will go some way towards helping to meet the region’s lack of employment land.

“There is a proven high demand for industrial space in the city, and it is that which has given us the full confidence to undertake what is a sizeable speculative development.”

Mike Vining, from Vining Management, represented The Wigley Group in gaining planning permission from Coventry City Council and will oversee the construction and sale of the units as project manager.

He said: “The building that was here had really got to the end of its useful life and was no longer fit for purpose, and it is being replaced with a number of new units that will better suit modern industry.”

The units will be marketed by Bromwich Hardy and GVA, ahead of expected completion in September.

Tom Bromwich, partner at Bromwich Hardy, said: “There is a pent-up demand for commercial space particularly industrial warehousing and manufacturing in Coventry and this is an opportunity for companies to buy brand new premises which they simply cannot do in the city at the moment.”

Luke Thacker, associate at GVA, said: “This is a busy commercial location and there is currently a high demand for industrial units in Coventry. The units will deliver much-needed, good quality accommodation and we are excited to be involved in the scheme.”

Pictured, from left to right, are Luke Thacker (GVA), James Davies and Robert Wigley (The Wigley Group), Mike Vining (Vining Management) and Tom Bromwich (Bromwich Hardy).

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