Demand for big sheds could lead to shortage in the North East

There is a limited supply of big sheds in the North East due to a rise in demand. As the North East commercial property market continues to improve, particularly within the industrial sector, the region could see a significant shortage of big sheds later this year, warns Keith Stewart of Naylors Chartered Surveyors

Washington big sheds and Nissan
Washington big sheds and Nissan

This year promises to be busy for industrial deals in the North East if the past few months are anything to go by.

At Naylors we have seen a rise in the number of enquiries for industrial space, and particularly big sheds.

We are looking to acquire more than 300,000 sq ft of big sheds on behalf of clients in the region and are also marketing a number of large industrial facilities including the 100,000 sq ft former Dewhirst factory at Blyth Riverside, 98,000 sq ft at Churchill Works in Blaydon and 100,000 sq ft at Tynepoint Industrial Estate in South Shields.

Demand for big sheds continues to be driven by the manufacturing sector, although distribution and offshore are also growing sectors in the region.

We have received strong interest in our larger industrial properties and one of these is currently under offer. Elsewhere in the North East there remains only a handful of big sheds available on the market for sale or to let and there is strong interest in a number of these.

It is highly likely that three of these sheds accumulating to around 500,000 sq ft will go under offer this year.

If they do and with no speculative large scheme development in the pipeline, it will leave occupiers looking at design and build opportunities which a number of companies have done over the last few years including; Vantec, Clipper, BAE and Rolls Royce.

One such opportunity is Gladman’s land at Lumley Park, Chester-le-Street for whom Naylors are agents and which has detailed planning consent to bring forward a 180,000 sq ft high bay warehouse which could be delivered in 30 weeks.

With a diminishing supply of good quality larger facilities there is a strong case for bringing forward new speculative development in order to satisfy demand.

Unfortunately there are no plans for new speculative industrial developments more than 100,000 sq ft in the region.

Over the past year we have seen take up of big sheds in a number of locations across the region including British Engines’ 160,000 sq ft at South Shields, Almit Group’s 169,000 sq ft at Faverdale, Darlington, Durham Police’s 90,000 sq ft at Peterlee and Parcelforce’s 84,000 sq ft at Drum Industrial Estate, Chester-le-Street.

The North East is a well-established manufacturing and logistics hot spot with many companies attracted to the region by the availability of a large skilled workforce, well-priced land and excellent transport links.

It is important we continue to offer a good supply of large industrial facilities to accommodate new enquiries and opportunities for inward investment.

Keith Stewart is Director of Industrial Agency at Naylors Chartered Surveyors.

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