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Part of a strategic focus

By Tim Bell


NORTHAMPTON continues to remain buoyant in the commercial property sector but what are the general trends in the office and industrial markets? Previous editorials have focused on Northampton in the local context but what of Northampton within the regional economic area?

The town is situated within the Oxford – Cambridge and Milton Keynes Arc, a broad swathe of England that incorporates Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Milton Keynes and Northampton. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has identified the future success of this arc as a national priority.

The driving force is the knowledge and technology led economies of Oxbridge, the financial services of Milton Keynes and the high-performance engineering sector in Northamptonshire. To facilitate growth and inter-connectivity within this region, the focus will be upon new rail and transport links.

The question still remains – how will this help Northampton? Broadly speaking, new growth and investment will lead to requirements for new housing, more office space and industrial property capacity. The NIC estimates that success of the arc will require two million square feet of new office space in Northampton alone. As development in and around Cambridge and Oxford is already constrained by high land prices and world heritage status city centres, the development opportunities for Northampton could be significant.

For this to bear fruit will take an integrated approach from Government, local authorities and the private sector to secure funding and open up land for development. The advantage for Northampton is that it already possesses good transport links and would be easily accessible from new road and rail connections.

The current office market in Northampton is, however, lagging behind its peers with a need to fulfil the modern requirements of business occupiers. LSH has a number of requirements from local and national clients seeking modern office space which is unable to be met by current stock availability. The industrial market continues to outperform other sectors of the market, however. Units 1 and 3 Scorpion Centre, Hartburn Close have attracted a lot of interest and offers on Unit 3 are currently being considered by our client. Unit 1 provides 9,786 square feet of industrial space, a secure yard and three loading doors and is available to rent for £55,000 pa.

For more information contact Tim Bell at Lambert Smith Hampton: email or search properties through the LSH website www.lsh.co.uk

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