Kingsway Business Park set for ‘unprecedented year’

Date published: 08 January 2022

2021 has been an incredibly successful year for Kingsway Business Park and 2022 promises to be even better.

That’s the message from Henry Henson, commercial development manager at Wilson Bowden Developments, after a string of high profile occupiers and planning permissions were secured in the last 12 months.

Kingsway Partnership is a joint venture between the Rochdale Development Agency, Rochdale Borough Council, Homes England and Wilson Bowden.

Kingsway Business Park is one of the largest developments of its kind in the UK and is within an hour’s drive of eight million people.

Earlier this year Kingsway became a victim of its own success when all the remaining units were snapped up meaning there were no units readily available for immediate occupation at Kingsway for potential occupiers.

As a result, a series of spec developments have been brought forward and are due for completion in 2022.

Wilson Bowden Developments has started work on the 7.67-acre site between Sir Isaac Newton Way and Lower Lane – known as Urban Park or Plot G.

The units on Urban Park, which vary in size from 21,570 sq ft to 39,740 sq ft, have been bought speculatively by property investment company Urban Logistics REIT. These are expected to complete in summer 2022.

Henson said: “There’s a real pent-up demand for occupiers and investors for prime development sites close to the main motorway network, which is why Kingsway is so popular.

“Over the last 12 months, the retail sector has undoubtedly seen an acceleration of growth from online sales as a result of the Covid pandemic. In turn, this has also had a major knock-on impact for the need of additional parcel hub and last-mile delivery facilities within the logistic sector, in order to meet the rising trend of fast turnaround delivery timescales for consumers.

We have also heard of many companies experiencing supply chain issues from overseas throughout the Brexit and Covid periods. As a consequence, many companies we have spoken to have been rethinking their business strategies, resulting in more on shoring measures taking place. As a direct result, we are seeing huge demand for new manufacturing and logistics space across our development sites and especially at Kingsway.

“We’ve got more opportunities in the pipeline at Kingsway, both on a design and build basis and spec funding opportunities. If you’re an occupier or an investor, come and talk to us.”

Reflecting on a successful 2021, Henson identified five crucial developments at Kingsway this year.

  • Amazon moving into a 216,000 sq ft unit known as ‘Plot H’ or ‘Kingsway 216’
  • Monarch 330 – a 328,000 sq ft distribution and warehouse facility on a 17.1-acre site at John Milne Avenue, making it the biggest speculative project undertaken by Wilson Bowden Developments at Kingsway
  • Funding secured for the completion of the Kingsway Business Park Northern Loop Road in Michael Faraday Avenue. The 300-metre stretch of road will go over the Stanney Brook Corridor and help open up additional development plots
  • Planning permission secured for a 10.8-acre site at plot J2
  • The 11-unit Logic business park in Rochdale became fully let – securing 130 jobs in the borough.

Councillor John, Blundell, cabinet member for economy and communications at Rochdale Borough Council and RDA Board member, described Kingsway as a ‘feather in the cap’ for the whole of Rochdale.

“It’s been another phenomenal year at Kingsway Business Park and the pipeline coming through is even more encouraging,” he said.

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