Why developer Wykeland is using lockdown to invest for the future

Developer Wykeland Group has continued to forge ahead with major investments during the lockdown, securing new planning approvals, driving forward regeneration projects and acquiring new sites in the past few weeks.

An aerial view of current Wykeland projects in Hull’s Fruit Market waterfront district – a flagship head office for Arco and 350-space multi-storey car park, in the foreground, and a sister building for the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI), top right. Picture: Octovision Media

Hull-based Wykeland recently gained planning consent for new business space totalling over 230,000 sq ft at its growing Melton West park in East Yorkshire.

The approvals from East Riding of Yorkshire Council give the green light to development of a 107,000 sq ft operational support building to accommodate more than 500 Humberside Police staff, a speculative 84,000 sq ft industrial development and a 40,000 sq ft office, distribution and warehouse centre for an unidentified end user.

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Wykeland has also submitted plans to the council for an 88,000 sq ft distribution centre at Melton West for an unnamed occupier, which would create around 450 jobs.

The latest developments at Melton West will bring further investment to the business park, which already has more than 800,000 sq ft of manufacturing, warehouse and office space occupied by firms including Kohler Mira, Heron Foods and Allam Marine.

They also add to Wykeland’s growing pipeline of projects across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, including £50m of development currently under construction.

Current development projects include the largest single investment yet as part of the £80m regeneration of Hull’s Fruit Market urban village – a 58,500 sq ft head office for safety firm Arco, together with a 350-space multi-storey car park.

The Fruit Market scheme is being driven forward by the Wykeland Beal joint venture formed by Wykeland and housebuilder Beal Homes, working in partnership with Hull City Council.

Close to the Arco construction site, Wykeland is forging ahead with a 20,000 sq ft sister building for the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI), which is the centrepiece of Wykeland’s @TheDock tech campus.

Elsewhere, it said progress is being made on the £17m Treadmills redevelopment of the former Northallerton Prison site in North Yorkshire. With new stores for Lidl and Iceland due to open this summer, the scheme has now entered its second phase, which will see the listed former prison blocks transformed into offices and co-working facilities businesses forming the C4DI Northallerton community.

In addition, construction is nearing completion on the latest phase of its Europarc business park in Grimsby.

Wykeland said construction activity resumed on all its current developments within five weeks of the start of the lockdown, following the introduction of safety measures in response to the Covid-19 emergency.

Managing director Dominic Gibbons said: “Our recent activity demonstrates our continuing commitment to investing in major projects of strategic importance to the region’s economy.

“We have always taken a long-term market view and that has not been affected by the recent economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We remain confident about the economy in Yorkshire and the Humber as we focus on existing and new growth opportunities. The projects we are currently delivering and those in the pipeline will make an important contribution to the region’s growth post Covid-19.”