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New Tenants Highlights Regeneration of County Durham Industrial Estate

Jonathan Simpson, CPNE, Tim Whittaker, Prospect Estates

New Tenants Highlights Regeneration of County Durham Industrial Estate

A newly-refurbished former glass manufacturing facility in Bishop Auckland has welcomed new tenants, after new life was breathed into the estate by its owners.

Originally purchased in 2014 by Prospect Estates Ltd, the former 7.7-acre Saint Gobain Glass Factory on Greenfield Industrial Estate, Catkin Way, has undergone a major overhaul.

The factory had recently been let on a temporary basis, but has now been refurbished and has welcomed its first new tenant following the completion of the works.

County Durham Fabrication has taken a 9,300 ft² industrial unit on lease following an extensive refurbishment on the detached unit. The company, which employs five staff, with plans to take on a sixth in the near future, has re-located from Tursdale in County Durham.

The company was established approximately 18 months ago and is a structural steel fabricator, working for clients including QUE Steel and Monkbridge Construction.

Robbie Parker, works manager, said: “We were on a site twice as large as we needed at Tursdale, so moving to Bishop Auckland makes us more efficient, secures the jobs of the existing workforce and allows us to prepare to take on another employee in the near future.”

Following the arrival of County Durham Fabrication, other parts of the site are available to let, with space remaining flexible to meet future occupants’ needs.

The refurbishment work has included the selective demolition of approximately 50,000 ft² of existing space to create a large external yard, as well as a major re-clad and the addition of a number of new loading doors in order to open up the facility, leaving approximately 110,000 ft² of space on the secure site.

Jonathan Simpson, director of Connect Property North East, the letting and sale agent for the site, said: “The new letting is testament to Prospects Estates’ ongoing commitment to Catkin Way and the significant refurbishment they have carried out.

“The completion of the refurbishment coincides with a busy period across the North East industrial market, and whilst we are heading towards the quieter summer period there still remains a number of unsatisfied requirements for space across the region from businesses looking to re-locate and expand.

“The newly-refurbished space offers two major characteristics that make it stand out from other sites on the market, namely eight metre-plus eaves and a significant amount of craneage. We are also able to offer a single unit of 100,000 ft² as well as variety of other flexible sizes from 12,000 ft² upwards.”

Tim Whittaker, of Prospect Estates Ltd, said: “The new refurbishment and sub-division has given the site the potential to be carved into units from 12,000 ft² to 100,000 ft², via a range of units that can be tailored to meet specific occupier requirements.

“Over the past few years, we have adopted a flexible development approach that has served us well.  Rather than making a potential occupier fit in with the accommodation based on our idea of the best subdivision, we listen to the companies’ requirements and look to see how we can get as close as possible to their ideal unit.”

The site is being handled by Prospect Estates and Connect Property North East, with units available both for sale and to let.