A prime commercial site is set for redevelopment as purpose-built premises for Western Power Distribution (WPD), the electricity provider for the Midlands, following acquisition involving leading East Midlands commercial property specialist Andrew and Ashwell.
The Leicester-based agent has been working closely with WPD to procure the site of the former Jessops headquarters on Scudamore Road. The building has stood empty since 2013 when the firm went into administration. Founded in Leicester in 1935, Jessops has since been successfully relaunched by TV ‘Dragons Den’ entrepreneur Peter Jones, returning to the city with a new store in Highcross two months ago.
Located just off Leicester’s Outer Ring Road, three miles west of the city centre and half a mile from M1 Junctions 21 and 21A, Scudamore Road is the main artery of the rapidly regenerating Braunstone Frith Industrial Estate. Growing demand for prime commercial property here has led to a series of major refurbishment schemes, including the clearance of the huge warehouse and office complex once occupied by the British Shoe Corporation to make way for a huge, million sq ft distribution hub.
The former Jessops’ site is set on a corner plot spanning 1.9 acres, including a derelict two-storey office and warehouse building of 44,000 sq ft, now set for demolition. The off-market acquisition will result in a new 19,500 sq ft depot and office building for WPD’s Midlands’ operation, to be constructed to BREEAM Excellent standard. Planning permission is already in place, with WPD scheduled to relocate from the current depot on Hamilton Business Park.
Geoff Gibson, at Andrew and Ashwell, said the acquisition was among several similar success stories for the agent in recent months, reflecting buoyant demand for prime commercial properties.
“There is high demand for employment land in Leicester, both among owner occupiers and developers, which has been very hard to come by. There are few opportunities on offer, so being able to deliver the right site for this development off market is something to shout about.”