Harworth Group in £12.7m deal for former Golden Wonder food factory site

Harworth Group has confirmed the acquisition of the Towngate Business Park for £12.7m.

Harworth Group

The Rotherham-based land regenerator has purchased the multi-let industrial estate in Widnes, Cheshire, from Towngate.

Towngate Business Park, a former Golden Wonder food factory, comprises a total of 262,000 sq ft of industrial space, which has been divided into nine warehouse units, ranging in size from 4,000 sq ft to 77,000 sq ft, and 3.8 acres of open storage.

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It is located on Everite Road, Widnes, Towngate Business Park provides easy access to the M62 via the M57 (1 mile) and south to the M56 (1 mile), leading to the M6.

The asset is fully let and generates rental income of £958,000 per annum.

Harworth said the transaction was in line with its growth strategy and added it intends to invest in the estate, leveraging its asset management expertise to capture rental reversion and explore infill development opportunities over the medium term.

The acquisition has been funded by proceeds from the company's active churn strategy in its income portfolio, recycling capital through the disposal of non-core assets or those where the Group has completed its asset management business plans. Most recently, this manifested in the £3.35 million sale of Lynfield Park, the former Alcan Rio Tinto smelter in Northumberland, in February 2021, ahead of book value.

At December 2020, Harworth's Business Space portfolio of predominantly industrial and logistics properties, generated £15.7 million of annual rental income with a WAULT of 12.5 years.

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."

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