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English Partnerships land sales boost city's economy


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 An architect’s drawing of the new headquarters for Alan Symonds and Associates at Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough


The Peterborough economy recently received a major boost with news of three land sales by national regeneration agency English Partnerships for commercial development projects. Speaking at a Sustainable Development in the East of England conference in Cambridge today (Friday 25 June 2004), English Partnerships regional director Dennis Hone says, “The completion of these sales demonstrates our commitment to the continuation of Peterborough’s sustainable economic growth. These developments alone are expected to create up to 40 new job opportunities.

“There is strong demand for commercial development land in Peterborough and we are taking a flexible approach to secure the best results for the city and its business success.

“Most of the English Partnerships land in Peterborough is now under offer so we hope to make further announcements shortly. However, English Partnerships has a few commercial development opportunities remaining, including a 15-acre site at Stirling Way, Bretton, and a 7.5-acre site at Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate.”

Two of the new deals announced today are for owner-occupiers and the third is for a speculative development of a new concept in small office units that will be offered on freehold or leasehold terms.

Peterborough-based company Alan Symonds and Associates is investing £2 million in a new, 27,000 sq ft (2,500 sq m) headquarters office and warehouse on a 1.5-acre (0.6 hectare) site at Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, to supply a growing market for its window furnishings products. The new building will be almost double the size of the company’s existing premises in Empson Road, Eastern Industry.

Founder Alan Symonds, who moved the business from London to Peterborough in 1980, praised Peterborough’s low business overheads for facilitating the company’s rapid growth. He says, “Our property costs would have been double in London and that would have hindered our business expansion. Moving to Peterborough has been good for us.”

The company imports ready-made curtains, blinds and fabrics and supplies retailers and wholesalers throughout the UK, Ireland and other European countries.

Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited is building a 6,500 sq ft (604 sq m) regional office for its dairy distribution business on 1.49 acres (0.6 hectares) at Dukesmead, Werrington – the final plot at Dukesmead. The site will be used as a distribution depot for the production dairy in Lincoln and will allow better access to customers in Peterborough and East Anglia.

Business Parcs – a group company of Southwark Investments plc – is planning to build a new concept in high-specification office units on 1.2 acres (0.5 hectare) at Papyrus Road, Werrington. The development, adjacent to BMW and Audi car dealerships, occupies the final plot at Papyrus Road.

Company director Wendy Butchart says, “This development will fulfil a demand for high-specification offices or commercial space for small businesses. We plan to have 12 units in three, two-storey terraces ready for occupation by next Easter or early summer.”

Lambert Smith Hampton is marketing the development, which has a total floor space of 2,358 square metres (25,380 sq ft). Units will be available on freehold or long leasehold terms at competitive rentals.

Ms Butchart adds, “We are planning a similar development of 31 units in Milton Keynes and we are actively seeking other sites nationwide.”

Following its £1.2 million investment in flood alleviation works in Peterborough’s Padholme Catchment area, English Partnerships has experienced a significant increase in enquiries for its commercial land holdings in the area. As a result, English Partnerships is now working with a number of owner-occupiers to enable the development of the land and the creation of new job opportunities.

June 2004

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