Byline: By Simon Haggie
The decline of manufacturing has presented fresh challenges for new towns such as Cramlington and Newton Aycliffe, argues Simon Haggie of Knight Frank.
Cramlington, once home to one of the richest seams of coal in the United Kingdom, had to reinvent itself when the mining industry declined in the North-East.
Thus Cramlington new town was born and developed in the 1960s and 1970s and provided a fine example of how a community could prosper.
During the past 30 years, however, the decline of traditional manufacturing industries has continued apace. Now Cramlington is undergoing another process of regeneration and is tackling the new challenges of the 21st century.
The decline in manufacturing business in the face of cheaper production costs in the Far East has resulted in a number of larger factory complexes coming to the market in Cramlington where recent casualties have been Dunlop Industrial Hose (185,000 sq ft), Clairol (150,000 sq ft), ADI (100,000 sq ft) and Europa Magnetics (141,000 sq ft).
Happily, with the exception of Europa Magnetics, all are now reoccupied by E J Badekabiner, Miller UK and DTS Transport respectively.
The Europa Magnetics buildings, extending to 37,000 sq ft, 39,000 sq ft and 65,000 sq ft each, are currently on the market and attracting an encouraging amount of interest.
The Nelson Industrial Estate is one of the engine rooms of Cramlington's renaissance, proving very popular with potential occupiers and inward investors.
The Fergusons' scheme of three 8,000 sq ft units at Dudley Business Park on the A19 to the South of Cramlington is nearing full occupation.
London-based Easter Management have just started on site with their new scheme providing nine units totalling 70,000 sq ft, which is due for completion in December and are already reporting strong interest in the 6,000 sq ft, 15,000 sq ft and 20,000 sq ft units.
Network Space recently completed a scheme of small units at Nelson Park ranging from 1,755 sq ft to 3,423 sq ft. Only one of nine units is un-let.
The 50 acre Admiral Business Park site, which was formerly the home of Cramlington Textiles, has until recently only been available in large unit sizes.
However, a refurbishment/sub-division scheme providing units starting from 6,600 sq ft is currently underway assisted by European Regional Development Grant funding. …