Horizon38 marks an end to Bristol’s industrial property drought

6 September 2017

Horizon38, one of the largest speculative commercial developments ever seen in Bristol, is continuing apace. The new employment scheme is currently being built at the former Rolls-Royce East Works site in Filton, North Bristol.

The project combines industrial and distribution buildings totalling 580,000 sq ft with a further 25 acres of mixed employment space including new offices, trade warehouses, motor trade outlets and a new landmark hotel by Village Urban Resorts. The scheme will ultimately support the supply chain of neighbouring aerospace industries, and will benefit from further proposed housing development in the nearby area.

The first occupiers are already moving in, with Selco Builders Merchants due to open their store in November this year; construction starts imminently on the new 153 bed hotel to open by the end of next year; while 210,000 sq ft of warehousing is currently available to let. Big improvements to the local road network are also being undertaken.

Paul Hobbs at GVA, joint letting agent on the scheme with JLL, observes that Horizon38 is a positive injection into the Bristol and regional property market, which has been suffering from a declining supply of good quality space for growing employers since 2007.

He says, “A lack of site options outside Avonmouth, together with the wider economic downturn, led to a serious lack of investment and opportunity in the region’s industrial stock, leaving occupiers with little or no choice when it comes to relocation or expansion in the traditional employment areas.

“Representing an £85million project, Horizon38 marks an end to this property drought. With 320,000 sq ft of quality space reaching completion, occupiers now at last have the chance to benefit from this renewed activity in the market. Two units are already under offer on the scheme with some very high-profile enquiries being received.

“Filton has always been at the hub of Bristol’s economic growth, with its strong aerospace and engineering credentials, this is set to continue as Horizon38 takes shape.”

The first phase of Horizon38 comprises six units, aimed at occupiers within the logistics and manufacturing sectors, ranging in size from 21,400 sq ft to 115,600 sq ft.  The next phase including 31,700 sq ft of trade and 60,650 sq ft of light industrial/warehouse units has commenced and will be completed in April 2018. Once complete Horizon38 will comprise up to 1million sq ft of mixed use space.

Horizon38 is a landmark strategic development site, directly fronting onto the A38 in Filton near the former Filton airfield, Airbus and Rolls-Royce Engines manufacturing plants. It sits within the Filton Enterprise Area; the largest and most significant regeneration and inward investment project in the south west and just 3 miles from Bristol city centre and less than 2 miles from the M5. Horizon38 is being developed by MSF Filton Limited, a joint venture between St Francis Group and iSec.

Significant new road improvements are now in place and there is a major project to widen the Gypsy Patch Lane rail tunnel imminently in conjunction with South Gloucestershire Highways.

Village Urban Resorts will begin work on site shortly on their new landmark, 153 bed hotel, to be situated on the corner of the A38 and Gypsy Patch Lane. It will open by late 2018. It will feature a business and events hub, and a state of the art health and fitness club, including swimming pool, bar and restaurant.

Paul concludes, “With the MetroBus opening up links between the south and north of the city, residential development at Filton airfield and now major development at Horizon38, Filton is regaining its place at the heart of economic activity.”