Infrastructure investment in the Sunderland area has helped it become the North East’s logistics hot spot, says Naylors Gavin Black, one of the region’s largest property consultancies.
In the last 10 years, the city has more than doubled the percentage of business units used by transport and storage companies, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Logistics firms now occupy 7.4% of Sunderland’s business premises (compared to the 2011 figure of 3.3%) the highest percentage in the North East. Sunderland has also seen the largest growth of logistic occupants, with its nearest competitor, Middlesbrough, seeing a change of just 1.3%.
Naylors Gavin Black believes that the figures represent a return on investment in infrastructure with the Port of Sunderland and The Sunderland Highway, which runs through the city centre, highlighted as potential reasons behind the growth. Additionally, the growth of Nissan and the associated supply chain, has also led to stronger demand in the area.
Investment in the region continues, with the recent completion of the £51.6 million A19 Downhill Lane upgrade, which connects to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park – a 370 acre site under development – to the A19 and the A1290 in Sunderland.
Keith Stewart, Partner at Naylors Gavin Black, said: “Sunderland’s transport and storage sectors have seen significant growth in the last few years thanks to continued investment by local and national government, as well as anchor companies, like Nissan and Amazon.
“We are seeing continued interest from occupiers and investors who are looking at Sunderland as an area of growth. Currently, we are in discussions with a distributor of renewable energy components about taking on a significant location in the Sunderland area, which would be fantastic for the local economy.
“Sunderland’s position nestled between the A19 and A1 (M) Motorway means it has easy links to the rest of the UK. The willingness by local authorities to regenerate older industrial areas and invest in creating infrastructure that supports smooth transport operations has also helped drive this significant growth.
“It’s great to see Sunderland continuing to invest in key infrastructure, like the creation of the advanced manufacturing hub at IAMP, where Naylors Gavin Black is supporting owners and potential occupiers to make use of more than 1million square feet of developable space. This will no doubt drive further demand for logistics and warehousing space in the area as more manufacturing businesses are established.”