Harworth Group acquires Widnes business park in £12.7m deal

Property company Harworth Group has bought a business park in Cheshire in a £12.7m deal that it says will increase its rental income.

The Rotherham-based company has bought the Towngate Business Park, in Widnes, from Towngate Plc, saying the deal is “in line with Harworth’s strategy of growing its income portfolio to cover its overheads from recurring rental income from investments which also offer value enhancement opportunities.”

The business park is on the site of a former Golden Wonder food factory and comprises 262,000 sq ft of industrial space which has been divided into nine warehouse units. Occupiers include Aggreko UK, Xpel Marketing, Initial Packaging and QA Flooring.

Harworth intends to invest in the estate, which boasts good access to the M62 and the M6, as well as Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the Port of Liverpool and Manchester International Airport.

The acquisition has been funded by proceeds from Harworth’s churn strategy in its income portfolio, which most recently saw it dispose of Lynfield Park, the former Alcan Rio Tinto smelter in Northumberland.

Richard Bousfield, head of income at Harworth Group, said: “Towngate Business Park is a fantastic addition to our income portfolio, adding recurring income whilst also presenting asset management opportunities to generate future value.

“The acquisition builds on our ambition to grow our exposure in the North West, where the industrial market continues to see very high levels of occupier demand and extremely limited supply which is resulting in positive rental growth forecasts.”

Tom Lamb, property manager at Towngate plc, said: “After 21 years of ownership of the site at Widnes, it will be sad to say goodbye, however the sale offers us an exciting opportunity to explore our investment plans closer to home, within the Yorkshire region.”

Harworth was advised by Metis Real Estate Advisors and Freeths LLP. Towngate plc was represented by B8 Real Estate and Littler Associates.

Business Live – North West