January 5, 2016
Opus Land obtains approval for a new 100,000 sq.ft. industrial facility in Cannock for the First Choice Group. The building will provide the tenant, a leading distributor of catering spares in the UK, with a much needed new HQ facility to service the needs of their expanding business. The site at Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock will provide a building totalling 100,000 sq.ft. with a three storey office, incorporating kitchens for catering and training purposes, overlooking the lake. The development land, acquired directly from Staffordshire County Council, is an area Opus know well having recently delivered the Veolia HQ and APC regional distribution hub at Kingswood Lakeside on adjoining plots.
Opus is proud to be part of this exciting new development to see this successful local firm double the amount of staff it employs over the next five years. Director John Whitehouse said: “We have been established for 16 years now and First Choice has become a familiar name in both the commercial catering industry and the local area. The business has seen double digit growth every year, moving to larger and larger premises in the process and is still expanding.”
The council played an integral role in assisting to secure funding from Birmingham and Solihull LEP which has helped to bridge the funding shortfall that comes from the high abnormal costs in the ground and the site’s mining heritage. Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “We’re pleased to see planning approval for the new First Choice HQ at Kingswood Lakeside – one of the county’s main business sites and one developed by the county council. This is yet another example of how, together with our partners, we are supporting business expansion in Staffordshire. It means more quality business development, retention of a leading company in its sector and more jobs in the Cannock area at a time when we have record low employment figures for the county.” Councillor Gordon Alcott, Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet Leader for Economic Development & Planning said “First Choice are a growing company and supporting such companies is absolutely vital for the economic regeneration of Cannock Chase District. The granting of planning permission for their new premises on Kingswood Lakeside not only protects local employment, it opens the door to future employment opportunities in a well designed state of the art building next to the M6 Toll”.
Opus Land, have forward sold the investment to Le Masurier, who were in turn advised by Hamdon Gate. JLL represented Staffordshire County Council on the sale of the land. Victoria Smith, Partner at Opus Land, commented that “Our business has a long standing track record of delivering market leading developments in the Kingswood Lakeside in partnership with occupiers. In the last 5 years, we have delivered Cannock’s only BREEAM Excellent rated building in the shape of Veolia’s HQ facility as well as APC’s 138,000 sq.ft. national hub for next day parcel delivery. All of these projects are a culmination of a close working relationship with occupiers in order to deliver a bespoke product to suit the individual needs of tenants seeking new space in the Midlands.”
Author: Amber Rolt, Estates Gazette