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Industrial investment volumes in Yorkshire break records at £615 million in 2019

20 02 20 industrial

Strong investment levels driven by speculative development and several high profile deals

Investment into Yorkshire industrial and logistics assets reached a record breaking £615 million in 2019, up 8.6 per cent year on year according to global real estate advisor Colliers International.

An increasing willingness by investors to take development risk, in a low supply environment, acted as a boost to the region and a rise in speculative development will follow this year. This is set to include Panattoni speculative building the 512,000 sq ft distribution warehouse Wakefield 515 at Crosspoint 33. 

The largest transaction in the area was Muse Developments’ forward funding deal for around £60 million with Aberdeen Standard Investments for a 361,000 sq ft distribution warehouse pre-let to Amazon at Logic Leeds. Equities Property Fund’s acquisition of the £30.67 million SuperG in Glasshoughton, which provides 258,000 sq ft of warehouse space, achieved a net initial yield of 4.6 per cent. 

Ben Hall, investment director and head of Colliers International in Leeds, commented: “Yorkshire had a fantastic year last year, as large institutional investors continued to commit to both existing stock, and in the development of new assets in the region. This follows the national trend with industrial and logistics assets being a favourite amongst investors over the last three years, with strong returns and a growing occupational market driven by ecommerce.”  

Colliers notes that despite the strong year for investment, the occupational market failed to match the strong demand witnessed in 2018. Take up reached 2 million sq ft, down 57 per cent year-on-year as political uncertainty dampened activity, however it is expected there will be a bounce back in 2020 as fundamentals including low national unemployment rate and increasing online spending are set to drive demand in the region.

Notable deals in the occupational market include Amazon signing a pre-let of 731,000 sq ft at iPort in Doncaster and Puma agreeing a 15 year lease on SuperG. London Metric forward funded a 232,000 sq ft design and build warehouse at Goole 36 for Croda that agreed a pre-let for a 20 year lease.

Robert Whatmuff, director in the industrial and logistics team at Colliers International in Leeds, added: “Although 2019 saw a dip in take up, this was off a particularly high base in 2018 when the market saw circa 4.6 million sq ft of occupational deals for distribution warehouses larger than 100,000 sq ft. There was considerable activity from the retail sector as it continues to adapt to the rise of online shopping, something we definitely expect to see continue into this year. As business confidence bounces back we expect to see this reflected in the rents achieved and headline rents for logistics warehouse space to reach in excess of £6 per sq ft this year, up from the current £5.75 per sq ft headline.”


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Rob Whatmuff

Head of Leeds Office

Industrial and Logistics


I have over nineteen years experience in all aspects of Agency Surveying with a particular specialism within the Industrial and Logistics field. I work with a range of institutional clients, corporate occupiers and developer/property companies providing strategic property advice, acquisition/disposal and development advice.

I have acted on behalf of both occupiers, landlords and developers on several key regional transactions including:

  • Acting on behalf of Lidl, acquired 35 acres at iPort Doncaster for a 685,000 sq. ft. Regional Distribution Centre.
  • Acting on behalf of Verdion on the iPort Doncaster scheme, the Yorkshire Regions most high profile and successful development, including leasehold occupier transactions to Amazon (2.1m sq. ft.), Fellowes (142,750 sq. ft.), CEVA (215,900 sq. ft.).
  • Occupier acquisition advice to companies including Lidl, Reckitt Benckiser, Dixons Carphone, ASDA, Ocado, Jaguar Land Rover, Magan, Siemens, Superdrug, Selco.
  • Development advice on behalf of leading developers such as Verdion, Tritax Symmetry, Peel Group, Network Space, Stoford Developments, Citrus Group and Highgrove Plc.
  • Acting on behalf of Aberdeen Standard, successfully let 415,000 sq. ft. at First Point, Doncaster to Amazon.
  • Acting on behalf of WP Carey, sold a former printworks complex in Leeds comprising 190,000 sq. ft. facility on a 4.88 acre site to Caddick Developments. Retained by the purchaser, the site was subsequently comprehensively reconfigured and refurbished, resulting in a letting of the whole to Leeds City Council.
  • Acting on behalf of Network Space, disposed of a 60 acre logistics development site in Worksop to DHL.
  • Acting on behalf of Dixons Carphone, acquired 425,000 sq. ft. at Leeds Bradford Airport Distribution Park.
  • Acting on behalf of Sainsbury Plc, disposed of the 400,000 sq. ft. former Argos RDC at Wakefield Europort.
  • Acting on behalf of Tritax Symmetry, acquired a 90 acre development site in the North East of England with subsequent pre-let of 1,507,000 sq ft RDC to Amazon on an institutional lease.
  • Acting on behalf of Glentrool, pre-sold 50,000 sq. ft. to Cromwell Polythene.
  • Acting on behalf of Wilton Developments, let 135,000 sq. ft. at Latitide 135 Wakefield to WH Malcolm and 50,000 sq. ft. at Connex 50 Leeds to FedEx.

Current Position - 2015 onwards - Director - Industrial & Logistics, Colliers International

Previous Positions:

2007 - 2014 - Head of Office & Director Industrial & Logistics North at Lambert Smith Hampton

2001 - 2007 - Senior Surveyor at King Sturge

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Rebecca Allen

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I have been working in commercial property communications for over 10 years  having previously worked at CBRE and Savills.

In my role at Colliers I am responsible for the PR of National Capital Markets, London Offices and Investment Property  Management teams as well as Scotland.

My role includes:

  • Creating and exectuing PR plans for business lines that span press, marketing and digital channels
  • Media monitoring and reporting
  • Advising on brand, tone of voice and profile raising 
  • Journalist relationship building through face to face meetings, phone calls day to day assistance with stories
  • Reputation management of the Colliers brand



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