Portobello Trade Park
Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

£7 million landmark A1 industrial scheme officially underway

Gateshead’s first speculative industrial development in six years is now officially underway.

An intensive groundworks programme has allowed Robertson Construction to commence steelwork ahead of schedule at Ravensworth Property Development’s landmark scheme, Portobello Trade Park.

The £7 million development will provide 15 high quality light industrial units specifically for SME’s, ranging in size from 2,100sqft to 23,000sqft.

Once fully occupied the park is expected to support around 244 jobs, in addition to the 200 jobs which are being supported during the construction phase.

The development has been partially funded by The North East Local Enterprise Partnership, who agreed to provide a £982k loan from the Growing Places North East Investment Fund, the scheme has also received £2.75 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

It was recently announced that Gateshead-based Robertson Construction won the contract to build the trade park, which is due to be ready for occupation in June next year.

Ravensworth have appointed Naylors Chartered Surveyors and HTA Real Estate as joint letting agents on the scheme, who have reported significant interest in the units.

Development manager at Durham-based Ravensworth, Geoff Clark, said: “It’s great to see the new development coming out of the ground and starting to take shape.

“The steel frame, which is highly visible from the A1(M) at Birtley, is an encouraging sign of the return of speculative industrial development to the North East.”

Head of industrial agency at Naylors, Keith Stewart, said: “We have received a high level of interest in the scheme so far and a significant increase in enquiries since the steelwork has become visible on site.

“Interest is primarily coming from trade counter occupiers and distribution businesses, who are attracted by the highly prominent location. We have issued terms to a few parties and hope to achieve the first pre-let in early 2015.”

Nick Atkinson of HTA Real Estate added: “This development is vital for the North East industrial market, where a severe lack of small to medium scale development has had a major impact on new and expanding SME’s wishing to relocate to new high quality premises.

“Portobello Trade Park is the first opportunity of this kind in the Gateshead area and we anticipate the high level of interest will continue as the development progresses.”

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