Latest News | 12 May 2021

Developer in £100m deal with insurance giant to build logistics facilities

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Clowes Developments has agreed a £100 million deal with insurance giant NFU Mutual to deliver new logistics facilities throughout the UK.

The deal, which involved law firm Geldards and commercial property firm FHP, will see Clowes deliver six logistics facilities, five of which will be speculatively built with the sixth building being a new pre-let facility.

Totalling in excess of a million sq ft, NFU Mutual is investing substantially across three Clowes Developments sites – EMDC, near Castle Donington, Castlewood Business Park, on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border and Centrix Park, in Northamptonshire.

James Richards, director at Clowes Developments, said: “The deal demonstrates confidence in the marketplace.

“For NFU Mutual to entrust a significant amount of capital in Clowes Developments is recognition for how far the group has come.

“This deal is by far the biggest transaction we have concluded as a group to date but we have other deals in the pipeline and this is an exciting time for the company.”

The size of the new units will range from 58,586 sq ft at Centrix Park to a unit of close to 250,000 sq ft at EMDC.

One of the properties included in the deal is the brand new Deichmann-Shoes UK Ltd building at Centrix Park, Corby.

The 162,500 sq ft design and build property has already been granted planning permission and contractor, Winvic Construction, is on site building the unit.

The remaining five units include a 58,586 sq ft building located opposite the Deichmann building at Centrix Park.

At Castlewood Business Park two units will be delivered. On Plot 1, a unit of 176,817 sq ft and on Plot 8 where a unit of 134,192 sq ft will be delivered.

At EMDC there will be two larger buildings with 3a EMDC delivering 189,573 sq ft and 3b EMDC delivering the largest single unit of 249,418 sq ft.

According to Clowes, the NFU Mutual deal is property group’s largest to date.

James said: “It is said repeatedly but with little emphasis of its significance, that the success of a deal is down to teamwork.

“I can whole heartedly say, our in-house teams at Clowes, dedicated legal representatives Heather Dixon and Chris Hawrylak at Geldards, Architect, Ben Hall at IMA Architects and our agent John Proctor at FHP Property Consultants have all played a vital role in getting this deal over the line.”

Fellow Clowes director Paul Shanley said: “The deal with the NFU Mutual is a departure from our group’s normal internal funding arrangements, primarily due to the size of the proposal.

“The financial strength of our group and reputation for delivery was a major factor in us being approached by NFU Mutual.

“It soon became apparent we share similar values and ideas, resulting in agreement to move forward together.

“We set our joint teams a tight timescale to get the deal over the line which, thanks to a total commitment from all the team involved, we made happen in a record time.

“Planning applications, where applicable, are ready to go and we expect to see site activity from late summer onwards.

“With the current shortage of good quality ‘big shed’ stock, the timing would appear just right to take advantage of market conditions.”

Jon Brice, from NFU Mutual said: “NFU Mutual are delighted to be working with Clowes Developments to bring through the development of these six prime industrial buildings in three prominent locations around the M1.

“This project forms a key part NFU Mutual’s strategy and we are excited to be partnering with Clowes Developments to deliver best-in-class space to the market.”

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