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HISTORIC CITY FIRM FINDS NEW HOME AT IM PROPERTIES’ THE HUB

One of Birmingham’s most successful companies will soon be moving home to a new purpose-built warehouse on the outskirts of the city, in a 15 year prelet secured by IM Properties (IMP).

Planning permission was gained by IMP and KitchenCraft for the 250,000 sq ft new building at The Hub, a thriving business park on the outskirts of the city.

Around 200 jobs will move from the current site once the unit is constructed and fitted out, which should be during the third quarter of 2019.

The Hub, spanning 90 acres, already numbers Iron Mountain and TNT among its major corporate tenants, and includes the UK’s first Electricity Cost Neutral (ECN.co.uk) logistics building let to Argos and the new Birmingham Wholesale Markets which IMP built for Birmingham City Council.

KitchenCraft is a market leading global developer and supplier of kitchen and homewares with some 4000 lines distributed to over 80 countries and claims every household in the UK has at least one of its products.

Many long-term customers will remember it as Thomas Plant; founded in 1850 in the heart of Birmingham. It became KitchenCraft in 1996 and is owned by a Nasdaq-quoted corporation – Lifetime Brands Inc.

With annual turnover close to £50m, it has outgrown its existing Garretts Green site, and needed a new location, which could house a national distribution; warehouse, office and show room space suitable for its current needs and projected expansion.

IMP’s development director, Richard Lawrence, was understandably delighted that such a famous and successful local business had chosen one of its schemes, not least because of KitchenCraft’s long history.

“As a Midlands based company we’re always pleased to be supporting the region and working to retain local businesses and enable them to continue their expansion in the area.

“One of The Hub’s biggest selling points is that it’s less than three miles from the centre, 1.5m people live within a 30-minute drive, and Witton Station – which is right across the road – is just 10 minutes from New Street Station.

“However, because this will be KitchenCraft’s national distribution hub, it also required a location which had great motorway access, and we’re right by the M6.”

Matthew Canwell, managing director of KitchenCraft added: “We are delighted to have committed to the next chapter of our businesses history and look forward to moving into our new home in 2019. The quality of the environment and the accessibility for suppliers, customers and our staff make this the right location for our business”.

Richard believes the pre-let agreement, and the long lease, reflects the park’s success since it was acquired by IMP in mid-2013.

“The Hub has secured a number of deals during our ownership with a mix of pre lets, pre sales and speculative development totaling 720,000 sq ft – we now only have eight acres of development land remaining and we expect to make a further announcement about this in the near future’’

MWRE acted on behalf of KitchenCraft.

CBRE, Knight Frank and Savills are joint agents for The Hub.

IMP is one the largest privately owned property companies in the UK, rooted mainly in the Midlands, with an investment and development portfolio of c£900 million across the UK, Europe and the US.