Building work for 'significant industrial scheme' in Leighton Buzzard due to begin in early 2021

Work is due to begin early next year on a 24.5-acre speculative industrial site planned on the edge of Leighton Buzzard.
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FirethornTrust has secured £32.73m of construction debt for the development of Ascent Logistics Park, located just off Leighton Road (LU7 4RW).

The site was purchased by Firethorn in March 2020, and has outline planning permission for 457,000sqft of grade-A midbox logistics space, to deliver eight units ranging from 12,000sqft to 130,000sqft.

The development loan will be provided by the international business of Federated Hermes’ Real Estate Debt Fund, which has financed another of Firethorn’s logistics schemes, a 325,000sqft site at Milton Ham, near Northampton.

The site off Leighton Road.The site off Leighton Road.
The site off Leighton Road.

Work is set to start on site in the first quarter of 2021, with the first units being delivered in the third quarter of the year.

Richard Whitby, Chief Financial Officer at Firethorn, said: “A shortage of high quality industrial schemes coupled with the recent acceleration of e-commerce has resulted in strong occupier demand for midbox warehousing space; Ascent Logistics Park will fulfil an urgent requirement in this prime location where supply is currently limited.

“Given the current environment, we are seeing excellent interest from lenders who are keen to increase their exposure to the logistics market for the best sponsors. We’re excited to have agreed a deal with Federated Hermes, and to work with the team once again to progress this significant industrial scheme.”

Ben Patton, Head of Real Estate Debt at the international business of Federated Hermes, added: “We are pleased to have been able to further support the growth of FirethornTrust’s logistics platform. This is a sector that we believe has strong investment fundamentals in a challenging wider market and which we are continuing to look to increase our own exposure to.”