Last year was a good year for the sheds market, with encouraging levels of take-up and large-scale investments across the UK.
Within our own operations, we saw demand from customers within the e-retailing sector jump as businesses sought to occupy bigger facilities to drive efficiencies across their supply chains.
Most recently, we welcomed Wiggle, the online sports retailer, to a 323,000 sq ft warehouse at Citadel Logistics Centre in Wolverhampton. We also let nearly 1m sq ft at Daventry’s Royal Oak Distribution Centre to European logistics giant Norbert Dentressangle and completed the construction of a 330,000 sq ft distribution hub for DPD at Hinckley Commercial Park in Leicestershire.
The trend for deals related to the e-commerce sector is obviously not confined to the UK. On a European scale, we completed our 13th project for Amazon last year - over the past eight years we have brought Amazon a total of 3,612,862 sq ft of industrial space in Europe.
Despite the demand for quality logistics space in the UK, there continues to be a lack of quality supply and there is a danger that this under-supply will hamper economic growth in the UK. This demand/supply imbalance led to us building our first speculative warehouse since 2008, with the construction of a 165,000 sq ft prime distribution unit at Hinckley Commercial Park. We have also just started on site at our scheme in Aylesford (Buckinghamshire) where we are speculatively building three units totalling 85,000 sq ft. In the last couple of months of 2014 we formed two significant new partnerships to bring further speculative product to the market during 2015; one with LaSalle Investment Management to develop 214,000 sq ft at Lyons Park, Coventry in five units, the other with Anglesea Capital to deliver three units totalling 930,000 sq ft of prime logistics space at our sites in Derby, Andover and Kingsnorth.
It is not all about speculative development however. In the UK, the supply of well-located land able to deliver large, bespoke solutions for customers is limited, and we remain focused on investing in our considerable land bank to offer serviced sites that can deliver design and build solutions.
Charles Crossland, managing director at Goodman UK Logistics