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June 2016 news archive

Blythe progress built on partnerships

One of the world’s largest providers of business enterprise software has signed up for another decade at IM Properties’ (IMP) Blythe Valley Park.

Infor has been at the 247-acre business park since 2008 and decided to extend its lease by another ten years, after being impressed by the quality and scale of the £5m refurbishment at the park’s One Central Boulevard office scheme.

The New York-headquartered business, which has some 74,000 customers in almost 200 countries, occupies 35,585 sq ft of space, where it employs around 250 software developers and finance teams.

The news comes less than two months after Zenith, the UK’s largest independent leasing, fleet management and vehicle outsourcing specialist, also extended its One Central Boulevard lease by ten years, and upped its office space to 20,635 sq ft.

IMP’s asset manager, Rob Hemus, believes the two deals reflect the success of IMP’s strategy since acquiring Blythe Valley Park in 2014, in an off-market deal for around £125m.

“We were confident that we could attract new tenants here for ‘design and build’ schemes, because it’s a great location in terms of connectivity, environment and facilities,” he recalled.

“However, we also knew we had to get control and invest a significant amount to bring the existing space up to the highest contemporary standards.

“Right from the start, our in-house team and our agents, the Birmingham offices of CBRE and Savills, have been working very closely with all tenants to understand their future needs as organisations, and as employers, to ensure we could meet those requirements.

“We pride ourselves in being a business which looks to the long-term, and I know that mindset appealed to both Zenith and Infor. We see these companies as partners, not just tenants, and we are certainly delighted at their decision to extend their ocupation with us.”

Infor specialises in industry-specific application software suites designed for the cloud. Automotive, food and beverage, and industrial manufacturing are among its most successful niches, which dovetails perfectly with the powerful presence of those sectors throughout the Midlands region.

The group’s regional facilities manager, Andrea Masters, was understandably delighted that negotiations had been successfully completed.

“The Blythe location is a key UK regional office, and also crucial to the smooth running of our operations throughout Europe, because our shared service centre at One Central Boulevard in the hub which controls all our European finance operations too.” she said.

“So far, 2016 has been a very successful time for us. We’ve completed several big contract signings, one of which is a very famous British motoring marque, Triumph Motorcycles.

“They’ve chosen us as their IT partner to deliver a global transformation of their business systems, and our automotive suite of applications will ultimately support around 1,600 users across 24 countries.

“We already work with many of Britain’s best-known companies, including BAE Systems, Highland Spring and Rolls Royce, so it’s great to add Triumph too.”
With those deals completed, IMP is already looking ahead to the next phase of Blythe’s investment programme.

“The final 60,000 sq ft of space at One Central Boulevard will come on stream between now and early in 2017, said Rob.

“However, regardless of which way the EU referendum vote goes, Blythe’s appeal as a business destination will be just as powerful, whether for UK-based or international tenants, such as Infor.”

IM PROPERTIES DELIVERS FURTHER 80,000 SQ FT LETTING

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IM Properties (IMP) has secured an 80,000 sq ft prelet on Birch Coppice.

The prelet has been agreed with bathroom manufacturer, HiB Limited, which already operates on the 400-acre park on junction 10 of the M42. HiB wants to double its existing space requirement and has signed a new 15-year lease on the building, which will be completed in Q2 2017.

The prelet follows hot on the heels of the Autins Group also agreeing a 15-year lease on a 47,250 sq ft unit, for its new Solar Non-Woven Ltd subsidiary, which will manufacture a new type of micro-fibre insulation created in Korea.

Robert Ginsberg, HiB’s managing director said, “We are delighted to be working with IM Properties on our second unit on Birch Coppice which will allow for further growth over the next 15 years”.

IMP is also delivering a further two units -  282,000 sq ft and 63,000 sq ft in July and August of this year as part of a £50m, Five Live programme. Launched last September, it aims to deliver 500,000 sq ft of speculative space at Birch Coppice, and The Hub, on the outskirts of Birmingham, via five new industrial units. 

Rachael Clarke, IMP’s development manager said: “Birch Coppice has been a real success story, with 1.4m sq ft of construction over the past 12 months. It ticks all the boxes for quality of location and product, offering the region’s largest rail link and a size of unit that is in extremely short supply at present.

“Our investment in the Midlands is significant and as a local company we are pleased to be able to work with existing businesses such as HiB to enable them to grow, which in turn helps secure the long-term prosperity of the region.”

Current occupiers on the Birch Coppice scheme include Euro Car Parts, Ocado, Bunzl and UPS.