Funding marks a milestone in recovery for region

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Funding has been secured for the first speculative industrial scheme in Yorkshire since the downturn, marking a turnaround for the region’s economy.

UK property regeneration company Harworth Estates will start work next month on a 100,000 sq ft scheme to develop industrial units on seven acres of land in Rotherham.

The firm has completed a forward-purchase agreement for the first phase of the development with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council for £4.3m.

It has also secured a £2.7m loan from the Sheffield City Region Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) Fund.

Under the forward-purchasing agreement, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council will take ownership of R-evolution’s first phase when it is completed in October 2014.

Harworth will be responsible for the delivery and the leasing of the development.

The money from Sheffield City Region’s JESSICA Fund, which was set up to support infrastructure and real estate investment, will pay for infrastructure works and the construction of new manufacturing units at R-evolution.

The development, called R-evolution@The AMP, won detailed planning consent last month.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth Estates, said: “In a region where the availability of equivalent-quality stock is reducing, we expect to attract top-quality tenants, which will allow Rotherham to benefit from secure, long-term rental income from the development.”

Paul Woodcock, director at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “There is strong demand from high quality manufacturing businesses, who want to join the world-class companies already located here in Rotherham.”