Covid-19 compliance to the fore in £12m Midland office plan

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Creating a workplace which complies with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic are at the heart of a £12m office scheme planned in the Midlands.

The project is planned at the Abbey Park office campus in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

The developer behind it says it aims to deliver a working environment that caters for the new workplace requirements created by the Covid-19 crisis.

Planning permission has been secured for the 42,000 sq ft building, which would be suited to being the headquarters of a company or public sector body looking to relocate.

It forms part of the second phase to create 150,000 sq ft of grade A office space at Abbey Park.

The 60-acre campus is already home to global agricultural equipment maker AGCO (which includes Massey Ferguson among its brands), the British Horse Society, international auto-systems supplier, Draexlmaier, and City & Guilds.

A CGI of the £12m office building planned at the Abbey Park office campus in Stoneleigh

Developer Danny Lynch has set out to create a working environment that can be Covid-19 compliant.

Birmingham-based agents, KWB, who are joint agents for Abbey Park with Bromwich Hardy, have been brought in to promote the Abbey Park proposals.

KWB director John Bryce expects the development to attract wide interest.

He said: “This park was successful long before lockdown for occupiers who wanted a strategic location, with 24-hour security, and excellent links to the region’s motorway network, the West Coast main-line and Birmingham Airport, as well as a strong talent pool.”

KWB director John Bryce

Mr Bryce said the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic would also form part of its attraction.

He said: “Those elements remain of critical importance, but I think potential occupiers will also be impressed by the commitment which Danny and his team have shown in making the building’s design suit the changing requirements of office occupiers.”

Explaining his thinking behind the scheme Mr Lynch said: “The property industry, like all business sectors, is mired in uncertainty because potential occupiers are still trying to work out what the ‘new normal’ will look for in office space once lockdown comes to an end.

“Accordingly, we have worked very closely with our architects to design a building which will fulfil all the needs of a business which values its employees, and places the highest priority on their health and well-being.”

He added: “Covid-19 has taught us that office environments must change, so we have included multiple entrances serving self-contained suites, to accommodate different departments within an organisation.

“Each area will have dedicated provision for toilets, showers, break-out space and kitchens, and such features as automated doors and the latest air filtration systems will enhance everyone’s well-being.”

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Mr Bryce believes the development could be of particular interest to companies operating in the automotive sector.

“Abbey Park is little more than three miles from JLR’s global headquarters, close to the brand-new National Automotive Innovation Centre, the existing Advanced Propulsion Centre, Warwick Science Park, and high-profile universities in Warwick and Coventry,” he said.

“The proposal will be attractive to any public or private sector organisation looking for offices on an established location, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the tenant which ultimately comes here had connections to the automotive industry.”


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