Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading port operator, has launched a £3.5bn property arm and will look to develop its 2,372-acre land bank held around major UK ports.

ABP Property owns sites in and around 21 major UK ports capable of supporting as much as 30m sq ft of accommodation for new logistics, assembly, manufacturing and other business operations, with the advantage of multimodal transport options.

The property arm will work directly with occupiers to provide buildings on traditional leases as well as design-and-build opportunities. It can also provide development funding and act as a partner on new schemes.

“ABP Property comprises a genuinely significant land bank and we have put together an experienced team to ensure investors, occupiers and agents can fully capitalise on the opportunities that this space offers,” said ABP commercial director Jens Nielsen.

The property arm will be headed up by Huw Turner.

“Our 21 ports serving key shipping, land and rail routes provide great opportunities to develop and utilise available land that offers accommodation solutions for the manufacture and distribution of goods locally, nationally and globally,” said Turner.

ABP’s property division operates an existing £2bn investment portfolio that includes the £310m Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing plant at Green Port Hull, where ABP provided more than half the development finance.