Yorkshire’s first speculative industrial scheme since 2007 to begin

HARWORTH Estates, the property regeneration company, has forward sold and secured infrastructure funding for the first speculative industrial development in Yorkshire for six years on a site being transformed into the region’s largest-ever mixed-use development.

The funding will enable Harworth to begin development next month of 100,000 sq ft of industrial units on seven acres of land at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The development, called R-evolution @ The AMP, received detailed planning consent in February.

In two separate transactions Harworth has completed a forward-purchase agreement for the first phase of the development with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for £4.3m and secured a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund.

The forward-purchasing agreement will involve Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council taking ownership of R-evolution’s first phase when it is completed in October. Harworth will be responsible for the delivery and the leasing of the development. 
The money from Sheffield City Region’s JESSICA Fund, which was set up to support infrastructure and real estate investment opportunities across the region, will pay for infrastructure works and the construction of new manufacturing units at R-evolution.

R-evolution @ The AMP is located at Harworth’s Waverley site. The 740-acre development comprises an Advanced Manufacturing Park with world-leading  organisations such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce, employment development and a new community of 4,000 homes along with shops, restaurants, schools, leisure and community facilities and parks. 

Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth Estates, said:  “We will deliver a first-class development for Rotherham Council. In a region where the availability of equivalent-quality stock is reducing, we expect to attract top-quality tenants, which will allow Rotherham to benefit from secure, long-term rental income from the development.”

Paul Woodcock, director of Planning, Regeneration & Culture at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “The Advanced Manufacturing Park is synonymous globally with cutting-edge expertise in advanced manufacturing technology, and as a result there is strong demand from high quality manufacturing businesses, who want to join the world-class companies already located here in Rotherham.

“The R-evolution project will provide opportunities for these businesses to grow at the AMP, both further enhancing the reputation of the Park and benefitting Rotherham through the creation of more high quality jobs and investment into the borough.”

Chris Scholey, Local Enterprise Partnership Board (LEP) member and chair of the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone Governance Board, said:  “The LEP welcomes the news that Harworth Estates and Rotherham Council are progressing quickly with plans for R-evolution @ The AMP, which is part of the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone.

“It is easy to see why the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) is so attractive to investors, with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Boeing and Sheffield University rapidly expanding their operations.

“The tax incentives that Enterprise Zone status brings make the Sheffield City Region incredibly attractive, and R-evolution will help to ensure that international investors can set up quickly and easily.”

Richard Smith, partner at hlw Keeble Hawson who acted for Harworth Estates, said the project is an encouraging sign of growing confidence and recovery in the market. 

“The development is likely to be tempting to prospective occupiers as the Advanced Manufacturing Park is South Yorkshire’s ‘jewel in the crown’,” he said.

The AMP still has four employment phases comprising over 68 acres available for a variety of employment uses, all of it benefitting from Enterprise Zone status.