From its heyday as the epicentre for the car industry with Standard Triumph, Morris, Jaguar, Daimler and Rootes Group, to its future as a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles and their components, the city is expert at reinventing itself.
The area is particularly strong in R&D activity and retains Jaguar Land Rover’s R&D facility at Whitley, which together with a range of other traditional manufacturing trades, form the foundation of the city’s industrial heritage.
Today, with developments in low carbon electric and hybrid powertrain technology centered here, Coventry it is reinventing itself once more.
It has become the Midlands’ leading centre of advanced manufacturing for the automotive, rail, aerospace and motorsport industries, which employ some 40,000 people, earning Coventry a reputation as a top city for UK employment.
But what is the secret to the town’s industrial success?
Coventry is one of the Midlands’ most strategic locations, sitting in the middle of the region’s logistics ‘golden triangle’.
With access to the M6, M69 and M1 motorways, it is the perfect location for businesses operating in the logistics and distribution sectors. But it also boasts benefits which go beyond its connectivity. 75% of England’s population is accessible within just a two-hour’s drive, allowing the city to enjoy a vibrant, young, diverse and skilled workforce.
This, together with its location and well-presented industrial property, is resulting in strong interest from commercial occupiers across all sectors, leading to a flurry of deals over the last 18 months.
As a result, availability of big box industrial units is decreasing, with approximately 1.7m sq ft currently available in the market.
It’s a similar picture for mid-sized units with just 1.6m sq ft of space available, meanwhile at the smaller end of the scale, space remains stable at around 941,000 sq ft.
With this in mind, we expect Coventry industrial rents to rise over the next three years by between 2-2.5% per annum, as demand continues to rise and outstrip supply.
For big distribution space ranging over 100,000 sq ft, you can expect to pay between £7.25-£7.50 psf. Mid-sized space of between 30,000 to 100,000 sq ft will cost around £7.00 psf.
At the smaller end of the scale, brand new units of between 10,000 – 30,000 sq ft will command rents of between £7.25-£8.25 psf, depending on the size.
There are some exciting developments coming out of the ground in Coventry which will bring much needed industrial supply in 2022.
Goodman has already delivered 800,000 sq ft of industrial and logistics space, including a 464,000 sq ft distribution facility for Amazon and a 135,000 sq ft space to Jaguar Land Rover.
It’s new development , Lyons 106 will provide 105,699 sq ft of industrial / warehouse space, just three miles from Coventry city centre, which is expected to create employment space for circa 200 new jobs. Features include a 12.5m clear internal height, 50m yard depth, 10 dock-level loading doors and 29 HGV spaces.
Developed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard and targeting an A-rated EPC, key sustainability features include carbon neutral cladding, LED lighting and solar PV to offset the building’s power needs.
Meanwhile, Prologis is building the last two units at Prologis Park Ryton. DC8 is pre- let and DC9, a new 330,770 sq ft speculative unit, is under construction and will be available to let from Summer 2022.
To complement that, Coventry Logistics Park, acquired by Bericote in partnership with JP Morgan Asset Management for £60m, has planning permission to redevelop the former Toys R Us site.
The 660,000 sq ft site is being redeveloped, with three big distribution units spanning 47,544-484,721 sq ft under construction, which will be available in August 2022.
To the east of the city, Ansty Technology Park, which is home to London Taxi International, and Meggit, is bringing 1.7 million sq ft of highly specified, build-to-suit logistics accommodation to market.
What next for Coventry?
The next phase of Coventry’s reinvention will see the city become home to a UK-first if plans for the West Midlands Gigafactory go through.
It will see the largest new battery facility of its kind in the UK built in Coventry, which will play a major role in securing the future of the UK automotive industry as it transitions to an electrified future.
At full capacity, the Gigafactory will be able to produce up to 60GWh – enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles per year – and will be ready for production in 2025.
It is an exciting and buoyant time for the industrial market in Coventry, as investment in the city booms and occupiers flock to make the most of the location, talent and quality industrial premises available here.
Whether you are an occupier seeking to lease premises or an investor, developer or landlord wishing to build, fitout and let a building in Coventry, our Birmingham-based agency team can help. Get in touch for more information.