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SREF completes over 300,000 sq ft of letting transactions across industrial assets

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has completed 328,582 sq ft of letting transactions during over the last three months across its UK industrial assets.

The 24 transactions included new long- and short-term leases as well as lease renewals at Hartlebury Trading Estate, Acorn Industrial Estate in Crayford, Arenson Way in Dunstable, and Woking Business Park.

The lettings coincide with the arrival of Philip Scott, who has joined the SREF team from Gerald Eve and will act as an investment manager, concentrating on the fund’s industrial portfolio.

Hartlebury Trading Estate in the West Midlands witnessed the most lettings transactions over the past three months with 247,432 sq ft of transactions taking place. This included a 164,712 sq ft, five-year lease extension to Forest Garden. The garden timber manufacturer will also be expanding its operation at Hartlebury, having also completed a new lease on an additional storage yard at the site.

A new 10-year lease for 55,101 sq ft of space was also completed with Concept Furniture International while ARCC Communications signed a new six-year lease for a 16,755 sq ft unit. Following these lettings, the 220-acre Hartlebury Trading Estate is now 99% let, with only one unit available.

Acorn Industrial Estate in Crayford has seen several new lettings with 19,095 sq ft of transactions taking place. This included a 15-year lease renewal by Gase Marine & General Engineering Services Ltd for two units at the site totalling 13,358 sq ft. Meanwhile, a new 10-year lease was signed by specialist manufacture and distributor of pipeline inspection systems, Mini-Cam LTD, for 1,887 sq ft of space.

SREF also completed significant lettings at its Arenson Way site in Dunstable with the arrival of Signature Flatbreads who has signed a new five-year lease for 40,775 sq ft, as well as at the fully let Woking Business Park, where Sally Salon Services Ltd has signed a 10-year lease renewal on its unit of 2,517 sq ft. Both schemes are now 100% let.

The new lettings across SREF’s industrial portfolio highlights the demand for space despite the ongoing problems caused by Covid-19. SREF has seen a significant rise in demand for industrial units which resulted in a 12% rise in net income over the past year thanks to SREF’s affordable rents, strong demand and well-located multi-let industrial assets across the UK.

Rob Cosslett, Deputy Fund Manager, Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, commented: “These latest transactions across our industrial assets have taken place despite the uncertainty caused by Covid-19. Not only is this an encouraging sign for the UK property market but also a clear indication of tenant confidence at these particular estates, reflected in the long-term nature of the lettings.

“Notwithstanding the well-reported increased demand for short-term use of industrial units during the pandemic, we have seen increased interest in industrial units from tenants requiring space in the longer term. The latest arrivals within the SREF portfolio include businesses from a variety of different industries including manufacturing, healthcare and engineering and evidence the flexibility that our industrial assets can provide, supporting our diverse tenants with their changing requirements. The arrival of Philip to the SREF team brings additional expertise and will help us to further strengthen our relationships across the industrial sector.”