Work on a £3.5m industrial unit in Yorkshire’s Aire Valley has been completed barely a week behind its original schedule despite the turmoil caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Building work began on Turner Developments’ Foundry Park project in January but activity stuttered to a halt in April when the UK lockdown hit its peak.
Bradford-based Stainforth Construction was off site for the entire month before returning to work in May. Now, after a concerted effort to make up lost ground, the 39,000 square foot unit on Chesham Street, Keighley, is ready for occupation and several parties are showing interest in the speculative build.
James Turner of Ilkley-based Turner Developments said: “It is no small feat to have completed the build within a week of the deadline, given that there was no activity on site throughout the whole of April. We lost four weeks through lockdown but the contractor virtually pulled it all back so that was a good effort.
“We have been impressed by Stainforth’s professionalism and the company’s commitment to get the project done.”
Foundry Park is currently available for sale or to let. It can be split into two units or taken as a whole and has a service yard extending to more than an acre. The joint agents are Hayfield Robinson and Atkinson Associates.
Mr Turner added: “We think the building is a really positive addition to Keighley’s industrial landscape.
“To have a brand new building with such a large service yard is pretty unique around here and it’s no surprise that we are fielding a lot of serious interest from local occupiers.
“We think it will suit a range of businesses, from warehousing and distribution firms to engineering and manufacturing companies. We think it will appeal to growing businesses in the Aire Valley that are wanting to upscale or local companies operating out of outdated and inefficient buildings.”
As a new build, the property meets the latest insulation standards and will be maintenance-free. The service yard is also equipped with five electric car charging stations.
Mr Turner said: “Electric vehicles are clearly going to be the future and we think it’s important to have the correct infrastructure in place so installing the charging stations was the right thing to do.
“Keighley, for all the challenges of the Coronavirus outbreak, remains a thriving centre for manufacturing in the UK and we believe Foundry Park adds to the local infrastructure and will tick lots of boxes for progressive companies.”
Turner Developments has been active in Keighley for more than a decade. In 2014, the company developed Aireside Business Park, a 260,000 square foot project, for seven occupiers and in 2017 it completed a 370,000 square foot development at Riverside Business Park for five occupiers.
Foundry Park is built on the site of the former Harold Town campus of Keighley College which was bought by Bradford Council in 2006, prior to the completion of the new Keighley College. The Harold Town campus was demolished in 2011 to make way for redevelopment.
Turner Developments subsequently purchased the site from Bradford Council and they have worked in partnership since to redevelop the site.
Coun Ross Shaw, the Bradford Council Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Keighley has long been a manufacturing powerhouse in the Bradford district and this is a further example of the Council and private sector working together to deliver regeneration of brownfield sites in the Aire Valley.
“We are delighted the property is now complete and look forward to welcoming a new occupier to Keighley’s Dalton Lane Business Development Zone.”
The development has been named Foundry Park in a nod to one of Mr Turner’s descendants.
“In the mid 1850’s, my great, great grandfather, Edwin Turner, operated the Eagle Ironworks foundry nearby. I thought that, in naming this building Foundry Park, it was a way to give a little nod to one of my ancestors and to recognise that this was once a thriving centre of employment. We’re confident it will be again,” he said.
The architects on the development were Ilkley-based Horsley Townsend.