WORK has started on creating a £11m office and industrial development in Berwick which is expected to help create more than 750 jobs.
Cheshire-based Gladman Developments, the biggest speculative office and industrial developer in the UK, is well under way with construction of phase one of Ramparts Business Park which will involve 27,000sqft of new purpose-built offices and 12,000sqft of small industrial units.
Overall, Gladman has planning permission for 71,760sqft of offices and 21,700sqft of industrial space on the site.
Ramparts stands on the northern outskirts of Berwick, sandwiched between the A1 and the main East Coast Main Line from Edinburgh to London. Richard Horsfield of Gladman Developments said: “We are delighted to have started work on site. We expect that our new development will help meet a pent up demand for office and industrial space, as there is little modern purpose-built accommodation available in the Berwick market.”
Gladman has said it is prepared to sell the completed developments as well as looking for leases, and this is expected to prove very popular.
Mr Horsfield added: “Businesses are generally very keen to own offices with their own front door. Our units at Ramparts Court will fulfil that desire. Typically we attract a wide range of occupiers to our developments, ranging from government and other public sector organisations to the fast growing software, technology and service sectors of the economy.
“We have started construction on site without having first secured occupiers.
“We always build speculatively, as we know that this is the best way to attract new companies to our offices and new employers to an area.
“In today’s fast moving business environment, larger companies cannot wait for buildings to be specially built for them and smaller companies will go to where accommodation is ready for them to move into.
“Our product has been tailored to meet the demands of modern business meaning that occupiers generally find our speculative units to perform as well, if not better than a design and build unit.”
Agents for the scheme are GVA Grimley in Edinburgh and local agent Edwin Thompson.
Gladman has completed more than 70 schemes such as Ramparts in England, Wales and Scotland in the past seven years. The company invests more than £100m per year building new offices and currently has more than 1million sqft under construction.
Berwick Borough Council has spent £2.5m of grants from One NorthEast, the Northumberland Strategic Partnership (NSP) and Government Office North-East, for infrastructure on the Ramparts site, including new internal roads, gas and electricity links and landscape features.