South Wales Industrial Property market is growing
The slow down in property prices and retail spending during the first part of 2008 has not prevented strong demand for new warehouse space in South Wales, according to national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), whose South Wales Industrial Property Division has expanded from two to five members to cope with demand.
In Swansea, market growth has come from a mixture of both new warehousing and industrial property refurbishment. Rob Camm from the LSH Swansea Office explained: “Large scale buildings for refurbishment such as the Alcoa premises and the Walkers Crisps Factory on Carmarthen Road, as well as the Visteon premises have been attracting considerable interest to the area, but good quality new buildings are badly needed. This will be partly addressed by pipeline developments at Swansea Vale, Baglan and Swansea West Business Park, but these sites alone will not satisfy demand and we’re confident further speculative schemes would easily find occupiers.”
The growth of industrial and warehouse developments in regions such as South Wales is explained in LSH’s new National Industrial and Distribution Report 2008. LSH’s Head of Research Dr Arezou said: “New corridors of industrial activity are emerging as supply pressures tighten in the ‘Golden Triangle’, opening up parts of the country where land prices are cheaper and planning less restrictive.
“Proximity to the motorway remains key but the industry is increasingly on the look out for sites with good access to the rail network and port connectivity. This trend is set to continue as occupiers seek to avoid congestion on the road network, escalating fuel costs and to reduce the carbon footprint of their supply chain.”
New Ethos for Swansea Technium companies
Four businesses at the flagship Technium Swansea have graduated to a purpose-built £7.5m building which they will share ownership of. Computer modelling specialist Rockfield Software, multimedia developer Imagitech, estate agency software business Dezrez and TV production company Teledu Telesgôp are to move to the newly-completed Ethos building in Swansea this month.
Sitting next to both Technium Swansea buildings on SA1 Swansea Waterfront, the Ethos facility was developed by the Ethos Group – made up of Rowland Jones, of Rowland Jones and Partners, Chartered Surveyors; Jon Rance, of Rockfield Software; and Meirion Howells, of Meirion Howells Project Management. Ethos offers 32,000sq ft of office accommodation as well as 7,000sq ft of conference and communal facilities to encourage collaboration and networking initiatives between companies. Alongside the four Technium companies, Ethos will house a number of other businesses, including chartered surveyors Rowland Jones & Partners, ophthalmic opticians Stephen Jones and legal practice Angel Chambers.
New product development & test facilities at Technium, Llanelli
Facilities at Llanelli’s Technium Performance Engineering are being given a significant boost with the addition of on-site workshop units which will enable technology businesses to undertake crucial product development and test work alongside their existing office operations. Six product development and test facilities will offer 3-phase electricity, compressed air, roller-shutter door access to each unit and a showcase facility for product demonstration. The units of 100 square metres of flexible manufacturing or engineering space each are currently under construction on the 18 acre Technium Performance Engineering site at Llanelli Gate and are due to be completed by late Summer 2008. They will complement the existing 13 office units and IBM Product Lifecycle Management software currently available at Technium Performance Engineering.
Connaught Motor Company, manufacturers of high performance sports cars, and currently based in Technium Performance Engineering, are set to make a decision shortly regarding the location of their new global manufacturing, research and development headquarters. Possible locations include Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Dafen in Llanelli, with the latter looking to be the favourite. The new HQ will aim to employ some 200 people by 2010.
Carmarthenshire Manufacturing Group event
New Construction Technology Centre, Ammanford campus, Coleg Sir Gậr
The Carmarthenshire Manufacturing Group, now in its fourth year of operation, is drawn from a range of manufacturers, including clothing, food, beverage, animal produce, medical electronics and engineering companies and has the support of Carmarthenshire County Council, Technium Performance Engineering and Coleg Sir Gậr.
The group’s new website will be officially launched at this networking, company promotion and new business opportunities event. The evening’s itinerary will also include a presentation on Sustainable Technology and will draw to a close with a Company Health and Safety check presentation.
If you are a manufacturing company within the region, interested in joining or for further details on the group or the event please contact Wyn Jones on 01554 748357 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Cream rises to top with store contract
Franks Ice Cream, the Ammanford-based ice cream manufacturer and distributor, is celebrating a multi-million pound contract with a national supermarket to provide six flavours under the supermarket’s own brand, across 675 stores. The new contract has led to the £500,000 investment in state-of-the-art production facilities and plant imported from Italy. Supported by Barclays, the firm was established in 1920 by Italian Francesco Dallavalle and the business remains in the family with grandsons Giulio and Renaldo at the helm. With seven “Best UK” ice cream titles and more than 80 regional, national and international ice cream awards, Franks Ice Cream has long been acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of premium dairy ice cream. The current supplier to the majority of primary schools across Wales and approved supplier to the NHS across England and Wales, the company has a history of innovation and product development, such as a market-leading diabetic ice cream.
Passenger numbers to Toronto soar
More flights to Toronto are being offered from Cardiff Airport as Zoom airlines has announced an additional direct service which will begin in July. Zoom will be operating twice-weekly flights to Toronto, departing on a Monday and Wednesday, with the weekly flight to Vancouver on Thursday. Lori Burke, marketing manager of Zoom airlines, said: “The increase in passenger numbers since we started operating from Cardiff has been exceptional.”
New clinical education programme aims to teach the teachers
An innovative programme which aims to develop the teaching skills of those educating others in clinical settings has been developed in an exciting new partnership between Swansea University’s School of Health Science and School of Medicine. The postgraduate certificate, or PGCert, in Professional Education in Clinical Settings will be offered at the University from September 2008, subject to validation, and has been put together by a team of highly experienced clinical practitioners and educators.
The only clinically-based programme of its kind in Wales, the PGCert offers course members the opportunity to receive expert observation and critique of their practice on three occasions, and will be taught in the School of Medicine’s facilities at Morriston Hospital. The programme consists of three modules and is taught on a part-time basis – where course members will attend approximately one study day every fortnight, over 10 weeks. There are also plans for further development which will see the PGCert being offered in the future at Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s Award level
Metropolitan University powers to energy awards
Swansea Metropolitan University has come out tops in a new survey which found the university to be the best independent higher education institute in Wales for low energy costs and low energy consumption. It is also sixth and third best in the UK in each category. The good news follows a number of high-profile environmental awards received by the university, including the commendation it received earlier in the year for its energy-saving efforts in the prestigious national Green Gown Awards ceremony. Swansea Metropolitan was the only Welsh university to receive such an accolade.
Flagship collaboration project in South West Wales Higher Education
Three higher education institutions in the South West Wales region are currently working closely together in an innovative partnership to integrate and enhance a range of services to students and staff. £7.5 million has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to Swansea University, Swansea Metropolitan University and Trinity College Carmarthen to implement change in key administrative services – under the South West Wales Higher Education Partnership, Reconfiguration and Collaboration project. The project is the first of its kind in the Welsh higher education sector.
The collaboration between the three institutions will lead to the integration of a wide range of support services and administrative functions, including: student records and intranet systems; the creation of a south west Wales ‘virtual’ library and careers service; collaboration in estates management, procurement, alumni services and international recruitment; and a coordinated approach to environmental sustainability.
Coleg Sir Gâr to pilot new apprentice scheme
Coleg Sir Gâr is piloting a new apprentice training scheme which has been set up in collaboration with the college and the Sector Skills Council for science, engineering, and manufacturing technologies. Engineering and manufacturing companies across Wales are being encouraged to share the training of apprentices to help fill the skills gap. This means that the sharing and transfer of skills between companies will benefit each business taking part, as well as additional incentives being offered to companies such as tailored training programmes for staff. The three year pilot is also being supported by the Welsh Assembly Government which will assist by subsidising part of the apprentice’s salary. The college has already signed up eight apprentices to the scheme, with companies such as EBS Automation, SD Engineering, Excel Engineering and PSF Wales supporting the new initiative.
City Centre hopes for giant BBC screen
A giant television screen could be on its way to Swansea in time for the Beijing Olympics. In 2006 the city played host to a BBC screen in Museum Square for the football World Cup and there are now plans for a permanent screen to be set up in Castle Square. The screen, around 4.5 metres high, 6.5 metres wide, and 1.1 metre deep, with legs a metre tall and worth around £400,000, is to be given to Swansea free of charge by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. An application for it to be installed has been made by Swansea Business Improvement District, which hopes it will encourage more people to visit the city centre. The screen is to be linked to the BBC, with a permanent content manager working just on the Swansea screen. It will be interactive, with games as well as sporting events being shown. Other ideas such as interactive rowing for children and group keep-fit activities have been mooted, similar to the Nintendo Wii. It will also be able to screen local concerts at the Liberty Stadium, as well as other local events. The screen will be maintained by LOCOG up until 2012, when the London Olympics take place, and after that will be sold to Swansea Council for £1. The application was lodged last month and it is due to be decided by planners on June 12.
Swansea hits the jackpot
Major new investment and job opportunities could be coming to Swansea after the Council secured new powers to issue a small casino licence. A recommendation by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that Swansea be awarded a small casino licence has now been approved by the House of Lords. The new casino licence would enable an operator to develop an extensive range of leisure and entertainment facilities, allowing a total customer area of between 750 and 1,500 square metres and up to 80 gaming machines with a maximum jackpot of £4,000. Bingo will not be permitted but other betting services would be allowed as well as a variety of non-gambling, leisure and entertainment facilities. The next step will now see Swansea Council identifying a suitable proposal from casino operators.
£7 million golf club leisure resort plan go-ahead
A new £7 million luxury tourism and leisure resort at Fairwood Park golf course near Upper Killay in Swansea has been given the go – ahead. It is hoped the project will create 50 jobs. It means demolishing Fairwood’s existing clubhouse and replacing it with a purpose-built tourism and leisure resort, including a luxury hotel, health and spa centre, with conference and banqueting rooms also on site. The club, which already has the only “championship” status 18-hole course in Swansea, is seeking to establish itself as a flagship golf resort in South West Wales as the Principality gears towards hosting the Ryder Cup in 2010. The club is now aiming to obtain full planning consent and if granted, work on the project could start within a year.
New Scarlets’ stadium named
The Llanelli Scarlets’ new £23 million stadium will be named ‘Parc y Scarlets’, it has been revealed. The announcement by the Scarlets’ board follows consultation with Carmarthenshire Council, members of the community, rugby supporters and partners. Rather than selling off the naming rights for the new stadium, it is hoped that funds will be raised by allowing sponsorship of the ground’s four stands.