Investment News | 11 February 2016

Opportunity knocks for Derby

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Derby continues to be a cost-effective office and retail location with plenty of opportunities for investors and developers according to Market Insite 2016 launched by Bondholder Innes England.

Nick Hosking, Shareholding Director at Innes England,  commented that the lack of commercial property was “a real challenge for the market” and that the launch of Infinity Park Derby will be a real “game changer” for the city.

Derby’s Office Market

In the office market, the report shows that Derby’s Pride Park continues to be the premium business location of choice for many new businesses moving to the city, including Bondholders Knights Professional Services and Aspin Group. The year also saw a significant uptake of serviced offices in the city centre, largely through Derby City Council’s Connect scheme, which has created ca. 50,000 sq ft of office space in the past two years in response to the needs of Derby’s flourishing start-ups and SMEs.

Some of the city centre’s lower-grade office space, such as St. Peter's House and Roman House, have been snapped up by developers for conversion to residential use, but the demand for new and refurbished office space in the city does, and will continue to, exist.  The availability of top-grade office stock in the city is at its lowest since pre-recession days, and the city’s focus needs to turn to the provision of 1,500 – 5,000 sq ft, offices, of modern design and with attractive lease terms, which new and expanding businesses can move into to support their growth plans.  It is clear that there is an opportunity for developers in Derby right now to provide what the market requires.

The Retail Renaissance

Market Insite highlights the renaissance in Derby’s retail and leisure scene over the past couple of years.  Independents in and around the Cathedral Quarter are going from strength to strength, desirable brands such as Yo! Sushi, MAC, Byron and Tiger have all taken space in intu Derby, and new brands such as Turtle Bay, Cosy Club, Prezzo and White Stuff have all spotted opportunities in Derby’s city centre.

The report highlights that Derby is far more cost-effective than its local rivals when it comes to rent levels, offering retailers in Derby more space for their money and opportunities for greater overall financial returns.

Industrial Stock Market

Competitive industrial rents highlight Derby’s excellent connectivity within the East Midlands, and the availability of industrial stock in Derby is strong.  There is renewed confidence in this market locally, with the success of Derby Commercial Park – including the new speculative 'Angle 325' building about to be let to a major high-street retailer – Eagle Park on Alfreton Road and plans for Derby Triangle all progressing. 

Speaking at the launch, Strategic Director of Communities and Place for Derby City Council, Christine Durrant, highlighted Derby’s Enterprise Zone, Infinity Park Derby. The site has the potential to deliver a world-class engineering and technology park, building on Derby's 300-year industrial heritage.

Inward Investment Executive at Marketing Derby, Jimmy Drew said ‘Innes England’s Market Insite report is always a useful summary of the East Midlands markets, which backs up the information we are asked for by investors looking at Derby.  This year’s report really highlights that Derby is a city on the up, and that there are real opportunities in the next few years to develop Derby’s offer even further.”

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