More than 100,000 sq ft was completed at Gateway 36 in 2023, Harworth said. Credit: via FTI Consulting

Harworth accelerates South Yorks portfolio upgrade

Projects progressing at Rotherham’s Advanced Manufacturing Park and Gateway 36 in Barnsley were picked out in the developer’s AGM update as central to increasing the quality of its stock.

The regeneration giant will soon start a 73,000 sq ft unit and is on site with a further 93,999 sq ft at AMP, a flagship scheme in its portfolio.

So far this year the business has directly developed 110,000 sq ft at Gateway 36, which is 35% let with strong occupier interest for the remaining space. The M1-adjacent site formerly housed the Rockingham colliery.

Providing an update at the group’s AGM today, the group said that it had brought in £48.4m through investment sales this year, as it seeks to divest itself of lower-grade property.

Chief executive Lynda Shillaw said: “Harworth has had strong strategic and operational momentum so far in 2023, against a backdrop of robust demand for serviced and therefore de-risked residential land as well as industrial & logistics assets.

“We have made significant sales from our Investment Portfolio in line with December 2022 valuations which, combined with our direct development of new places, means we are making good progress towards transitioning this portfolio to 100% Grade A.

“Our sustained progress with acquisitions, planning and development across our landbank, as well as our strong financial position, means we are well positioned to continue to drive value for stakeholders and deliver sustainable places where people want to live and work.”

In this month alone, Harworth has sold two North West business parks for a combined £36m as part of the disposal programme. The target is to be 100% grade A in four years.

At AMP, the two schemes either on-site or about to go live come as part of a further 1.8m sq ft to be delivered, on which preparation works are under way. The 73,000 sq ft unit is a build-to-suit project already pre-let.

Harworth said it has completed, exchanged or has agreed heads of terms on 74% of budgeted sales for the year across industrial & logistics and residential land portfolios, at prices in-line with, or at a premium to, book value.

The group is also working towards exchange of contracts with investment and construction partners for development of a single-family build-to-rent portfolio, and will soon launch an affordable homes portfolio, to be delivered through a forward-funding agreement.

Looking at future growth, Harworth said its strategic land pipeline continues to grow, with acquisitions representing 1.1m sq. ft of industrial & logistics space completed in the year to date. Planning applications representing 2,040 housing plots and 7.4m sq ft of employment space are currently progressing through the planning system.

Harworth said that following its disposals, and transfers of completed developments of 110,000 sq. ft, the commercial portfolio is now 27% grade A, up from 18% at the end of 2022.

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