Significant investment has succeeded in breathing new life into an ailing 17-acre industrial site formerly owned by electrical giants Electrolux in County Durham and providing a boost to employment in the locality.
The Merrington Lane Industrial Estate near Spennymoor was in poor repair and around 80 per cent vacant when acquired by property developers Northumberland Estates in the summer of 2019. A total refurbishment and multimillion £ investment has reversed this position. Improved infrastructure and upgraded facilities have attracted new tenants with Northumberland Estates exceeding their own expectations in securing 100 per cent occupancy within 12 months despite the COVID-19 pandemic intervening.
Asset manager at Northumberland Estates, Michael O’Driscoll explains; “When we purchased Merrington Land Industrial Estate at auction we felt that with the right investment the voids could be filled quickly. The site had been neglected for a number of years hence the refurbishment works were significant. We decided to demolish part of the main building to facilitate a larger yard as well as carrying out significant surfacing works. Two thirds of the units were re-roofed and the majority of elevations were reclad which has been transformative. Such is the level of demand for industrial space currently that we let the all the vacant space prior to finishing the works.’
The site now comprises 307,000 sq ft and is fully let to five tenants including Nissan supplier DS Foams UK Limited, Stiller Warehousing & Distribution and The Shred Centre.
Says Michael O’Driscoll, “the boom in online shopping has created increased demand for storage from a wide range of companies and not just food retailers. Businesses are looking for ever larger premises, ideally with good links to major road networks. Consequently, large warehouses such as this are in high demand, not only in the North East but also nationwide. Proof of this comes from projects such as our joint venture property deal with Helios Properties which should see the creation of a new major logistics centre for a major online retailer at Wynyard Business Park on Teesside, creating up to 3,000 jobs for the area.”