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Saturday 6 June 2015

Cheshire East’s strong economy boosts demand for property


Most sectors of Cheshire East’s property market are expanding thanks to a buoyant small business sector and significant investments by major employers.

These are the findings of the Cheshire East Commercial Property Review 2015, which was launched in front of about 100 professional advisers and investors at Alderley Park Conference Centre.

In the foreword to the report, Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “This review shows that the property market has well and truly woken up to the strength of our economy.

“More and more industrial, retail, office and leisure occupiers, on whom the market depends for its livelihood, are finding that Cheshire East is a great place to do business.

“Cheshire East Council is setting out an ambitious plan to support the creation of more than 31,000 new, predominantly private sector jobs by 2030. This will mean greater skills, fewer people claiming benefits and less dependence on public sector employment.

“The Council is moving rapidly to acquire properties and sites to energise the regeneration of Macclesfield, Crewe and Middlewich town centres. We expect more, exciting news on these projects before the end of this year.”

The review reveals that take-up of industrial floorspace rose by 70 per cent to 76,602 sq m in 2014, with transactions doubling compared with the prior year. The largest deal was the letting by warehousing property specialist Prologis to Optima Logistics of a 17,229 sq m building warehouse at Midpoint 18 in Middlewich.

There were 45 office deals involving 22,300 sq m of space overall, with activity running 30 per cent above the five-year average for the Borough. All but two transactions involved less than 10,000 sq ft, reflecting the strength of the borough’s small and medium-sized enterprises.

Housebuilding was slightly up on the prior year, with 663 new dwellings built, 3,943 under construction, and planning permission granted for 5,395 homes on 42 sites.

Waters Corporation, a manufacturer of mass spectrometry instruments, opened its new headquarters outside Wilmslow and Bentley Motors announced its largest ever investment in Crewe, spending £40m on a new research and development centre that will create over 300 new jobs.

Dr Chris Doherty, Alderley Park site director for Manchester Science Partnerships, said the former AstraZeneca research and development base expected to attract up to 100 companies, including start-ups, which would create ‘a new cohort’ of biotech companies for the region.

Julian Cobley, Cheshire East Council’s head of investment, said the Borough’s appeal was based on quality, with the Cheshire Science Corridor linking together the Alderley park BioHub, AstraZeneca’s Hurdsfield site and Jodrell Bank in a cluster capable of generating significant economic benefits.

The launch was attended by about 100 agents, developers, landowners, chartered surveyors and  planning consultants active in the commercial property market, who were keen to hear about the development opportunities available in Cheshire East.

They were also able to meet key Cheshire East officers and those providing complementary services to the property market in the Borough.

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