iSec and St Francis Group are set to begin the speculative development of a 600,000 sq ft business park at the former Rolls Royce site in Bristol

1 January 2016

iSec and St Francis Group are set to begin the speculative development of a 600,000 sq ft business park at the former Rolls Royce site in Bristol.

St Francis Group and Marcol Industrial have secured a funding deal with BP Pension Fund that commits all parties to the development of nearly 600,000 sq ft of speculative warehouse and industrial at the former Rolls-Royce East Works site in Filton.

To be known as Horizon38, the landmark site fronts the A38 in Filton near the former Filton airfield, Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

The developers secured detailed planning consent last year for up to 1.2m sq ft of commercial. In addition to warehousing and industrial, the £120m development will include a frontage of mixed-use with car dealerships, trade counters, self-storage and a major hotel.

Gareth Williams, development director at St Francis Group, said: “Horizon38 will be the first major employment scheme to come out of the ground in north Bristol for 20 years. Set on a 65-acre site, this is a hugely significant development. This scheme could not be better timed with occupiers struggling with little or no available stock in north Bristol. This is a very significant and important project for Bristol, South Gloucestershire and the wider region.”

Paul Baker of JLL who acted on behalf of BP Pension Fund, added: “The Fund recognised this as a rare opportunity to create the largest single multi-let estate on the northern fringe of Bristol with superb access to both the motorway network and the City of Bristol. With the supply of good quality space at a low, rents growing and occupiers signing longer leases it is the perfect time for speculative development.”

Paul Hobbs, Industrial Director at property adviser Bilfinger GVA in Bristol who advised the developers on the site purchase said: “North Bristol has seen some dramatic changes over recent years. The former Rolls-Royce East Works development site has lain dormant since the recession started in 2008 but the new owners are ready to bring forward this site.
“This is a major commercial development for the north fringe of Bristol which, as an employment area focusing on industrial and warehousing, will complement the residential (2,600 houses) and retail developments being planned on the opposite side of the A38 on the former Filton airfield. “It’s hugely significant for the area – we feel as a development it will be as important for north Bristol as Temple Quay has been for the city centre.”

Major groundworks will commence on site early 2016, with phased development leading to the delivery of the first completed buildings expected early in 2017.

The Bristol office of JLL advised BP on the funding agreement and will act jointly with Bilfinger GVA in connection with the industrial and warehousing elements. Gerald Eve acted on behalf of Rolls-Royce in the land sale.