Bosch Becomes Duchy’s Newest Commercial Tenant

Multi-national technology company Bosch has become the Duchy of Lancaster’s latest tenant, taking over 100,000 sq ft of warehouse and office space in the Midlands on a five-year lease.

The modern purpose-built warehouse is in an established location within 1.5 miles of junctions 5 and 6 of the M6 motorway. It became vacant in the summer of 2016 and has been fully refurbished, relaunching to the market as Primus 100 last autumn.

Commenting on the response to the relaunch, Duchy Head of Urban Mike Andrews said: “The launch of Primus 100 attracted significant interest from large corporates looking for office and warehouse space with delivery and transport capability, as well as excellent security services. This is also an excellent location from a logistics point of view, so we are very pleased that Bosch has decided to join the ranks of Amazon, Jaguar, Land Rover and Hermes in establishing an operational base in this area.”

Peter Threadgold, Regional Property of Bosch UK said: “As one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive components and consumer goods, ease of access is critical to us. The excellent transport and communication links available here, together with the quality and scale of the space on offer at Primus 100 made it a perfect fit for our requirements.”

Light industrial and commercial buildings have been a growing area of focus for the Duchy over recent years with acquisitions of similar properties in Blackburn, Manchester and Liverpool, as well as key strategic locations serving the South of England.

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New Future For Grade II Listed Building in Burniston

A Grade II listed building on Rocks Lane, Burniston has been lovingly restored, updated and refurbished by the Duchy of Lancaster.

Beck Farm has been part of the Duchy’s Cloughton estate since it was built in the late 18th century.  When the property fell vacant, the Duchy took the opportunity to invest in a full-scale refurbishment and renovation, bringing the property in line with its residential design specification.

Every aspect of the property has been investigated and improved to protect the fabric of the building. A new damp proof course has been installed, smart heating and an A-rated boiler to improve energy efficiency. Traditional materials have been used throughout, including new hardwood windows, a new staircase and period skirting. The living accommodation includes four spacious bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large open farmhouse kitchen with range cooker, as well as an airy reception room with stone hearth and wood burner.

The result is a beautifully restored landmark building which combines the character of a period property with all the comfort and efficiency of a contemporary family home.

Commenting on the project, Duchy Head of Project Management, Graeme Chalk said: “In bringing this landmark property back to life, we were really keen to reflect its history and the character of its original design. Working with local craftsmen, we took the building back to its core and rebuilt it using the same heritage materials and techniques. We overlaid this with our high quality design specification and the latest available technology.”

The Duchy has decided to open Beck Farmhouse to the general public to showcase the quality of the finish and the extent of the restoration works completed here. Readers are invited to attend the official Open Day on Tuesday 20th December 2016 (further details are available from the Duchy’s managing agents Savills on 01904 756300.

Beck Farmhouse is part of an ongoing programme of refurbishment works underway across the Duchy’s Cloughton estate. In the last two years, over £2m has been spent in property maintenance, repairs and refurbishment in Yorkshire.

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Duchy Supports Green Energy Production

The Duchy of Lancaster is supporting the construction of a new and innovative green energy plant at its recently acquired Marston Gate Industrial Estate in Swindon.

The UK Government is investing £11m in the development and construction of a state-of-the-art facility in Swindon which uses pioneering technology to transform waste into a green gas called Bio-substitute Natural Gas (BioSNG). The BioSNG, which emits 80 per cent less carbon dioxide than diesel, will be used to power local haulage fleets and will reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by 5,000 tonnes per annum.  This will be the first such facility in the world.

Supported by the Department for Transport, Advanced Plasma Power (APP) will lead a consortium of companies made up of National Grid, clean energy firm Progressive Energy and CNG Services, to deliver the new green energy plant.

Construction is scheduled to begin next year.  To facilitate the project, the Duchy has agreed to permit the necessary structural alterations to existing buildings as well as making additional areas of the site available.

Commenting on the new plant, Duchy Head of Urban Mike Andrews said: “As a responsible landlord, the Duchy of Lancaster is keen to encourage the use of new technologies and green energy sources by our tenants. This new plant will harness ground-breaking technology to help reduce emissions in one of the UK’s key transport sectors, while using waste which would otherwise go to landfill. We are pleased to be able to play our part in making this a reality and will be watching with interest as the new plant comes on line.”

Rolf Stein, CEO of APP, said: “From an economic, environmental and social perspective, this   presents a real triple win. The new technology means that we can produce clean biofuels from waste on a local basis, so as to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from both the waste management as well as transport sectors.”

Clare Wenner, head of renewable transport at the Renewable Energy Association, added: “There are very few solutions available to help us de-carbonise the HGV sector, although this is a stated Government priority. The application of really innovative technology such as this is a very encouraging sign that new solutions can and will be found to help achieve this aim.”

Once fully operational, the new Swindon plant will take in 10,000 tonnes of waste from the local area and produce 22GWh of BioSNG – enough to heat 1,500 homes.

The Duchy of Lancaster acquired Marston Gate as part of the Gravity portfolio of commercial and industrial buildings in September 2016.

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Signature Farm Snapped Up By Elveden Farms

The Duchy of Lancaster has purchased Mallard Hearn Farm, Donington, bringing the total acreage owned by the Duchy in Lincolnshire to 2,580.  The land holding and buildings have now been combined with neighbouring Park Farm to create a holding on the eastern estate which will be one of the most productive in the Duchy’s portfolio.

The newly extended 1,500-acre farm, which includes temperature controlled storage facilities for 4,000 tonnes of potatoes and 6,000 tonnes of grain, will be occupied by Elveden Farms Ltd.

Elveden Estates is already one of the country’s leading  fresh food producers, growing over 75,000 tonnes of potatoes, onions, parsnips and carrots per year.  This is the company’s first investment in Lincolnshire.

Managing Director of Elveden Farms Ltd Michael Douglas said: “Elveden strives to be world class in terms of the quality of produce we offer and we are also totally committed to responsible farming. Moving into Park Farm allows us to continue to grow our combinable crops and root vegetables production and provides us with an operational base in another key location. In addition, the excellent storage facilities on site mean that we can farm and store our produce all year round.”

Christopher Sparrow, Head of Rural for the Duchy of Lancaster said: “This extended landholding makes Park Farm a signature holding for the Duchy and adds to our growing portfolio of Grade I and II farmland in Lincolnshire. We are very fortunate to have such a high number of commercially successful tenant businesses in this area and delighted to be able to help those businesses expand into adjoining land wherever possible. Elveden Estates has core values which are closely aligned to those of the Duchy and we welcome them to the Southern Survey.”

This is the third significant investment that the Duchy has made in Lincolnshire in the last 12 months.


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Duchy Creates New Office At Lancaster Castle

The Duchy of Lancaster has opened a new office at Lancaster Castle. Following a six-month refurbishment project, the former Debtors’ Workshops have been sensitively restored to provide a modern office and meeting room suite capable of accommodating up to a dozen people. 

One of the major considerations in developing the design for the new offices was the Duchy’s desire to retain and celebrate the materials used in the original construction of this 19th-century block. As a result, the open plan office suite features natural exposed stone walls and doorways as well as sophisticated touch control lighting and multi-media facilities. Every effort has been made to protect the integrity of the original design and construction, while ensuring a contemporary space which is both functional and fit-for-purpose.

Commenting on the project, Duchy CEO Nathan Thompson said: “One of the Duchy’s strategic objectives for Lancaster Castle is to restore the fabric of these historic buildings and bring them back into use wherever possible.  The new offices demonstrate that quality of workmanship that we are looking to achieve and provide a clear statement of intent with regard to our commitment to the Castle.”

The room at the base of the Victorian clock-tower has also been refurbished to create a space celebrating life at the Duchy. It houses a standing exhibition of wall-mounted panels which explore the origins and history of the Duchy of Lancaster as well as the Duchy’s links with Lancaster Castle.

Restoration work continues to the front of the famous John O’Gaunt gatehouse and entrance to the Castle and this phase of work is due for completion in Summer 2017.



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