Highbridge Properties — the developers behind Britain’s biggest business park — has unveiled plans for a new 82-acre industrial site which, it claims, could create more than 1,000 new jobs.
Indigo Park will be located north of Newcastle on land released in collaboration with North Tyneside Council. The Sandy Lane site is believed to be the biggest release of development land within Tyne and Wear for more than a decade.
London-based Highbridge already has two commercial sites on Tyneside, Newcastle Business Park and Cobalt Business Park which, extending over two million square feet and providing more than 12,000 jobs, is claimed to be the country’s largest business campus. Cobalt Park also boasts a four-star hotel, conferencing facilities, nursery and creche, and a number of retail units including Tesco and Greggs.
Work on the £100m project is expected to start within weeks and, when complete, will offer in excess of 1.3m square feet of purpose-built manufacturing and warehouse space.
“Indigo Park will give manufacturers and distributors the kind of space that has, until now, been unavailable on other industrial sites in the North-East,” explained Highbridge director Adrian Hill.
“We are delighted to have secured this outstanding development opportunity,” he added, “particularly as the demand for well-located large-scale manufacturing and distribution units is increasing steadily and the supply of available stock to meet that demand is already at a very low level and reducing fast.”
Norma Redfearn is North Tyneside’s elected mayor. “This development, delivered in partnership with Highbridge, is great news for North Tyneside and the wider North-East,” she said. “Indigo Park meets a demand for development opportunities by manufacturing and distribution companies and will provide much-needed jobs for local people.”
Commercial agents have repeatedly warned of a serious lack of industrial units in the region, particularly so-called big sheds needed by the distribution sector. As part of its pledge to provide build-to-suit premises on the Sandy Lane site Highbridge says it will offer a range of units from 50,000 to 750,000sq ft.
“This is probably the only significant new land release currently in the Tyne and Wear area and its proximity to both the A1 and A19, as well as being situated within a large employment catchment area, has got to make it an attractive proposition for end users,” said Simon Haggie, a partner in Knight Frank’s Newcastle office.
Highbridge Properties was formed in 1988 as a commercial development company. It’s focus so far has been on office parks, industrial and warehousing schemes and, more recently, data centres. As well as having two other commercial sites in the North-East at Peterlee and Sunderland, it has also developed office and industrial parks in Nottinghamshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Tayside and near Bristol.