Market Insight

Is the Midlands’ Golden Triangle of logistics losing its relevance?

The phrase ‘golden triangle’ was first coined in the late 1980s when a small triangle of land in the middle of the East Midlands stretching between the M1, M6 and M69, became renowned for its logistics prowess.
January 1, 2023
Initially dominated by the Magna Park development at Lutterworth, it soon expanded to encompass some 550 square miles or so, from Northamptonshire up the M1 to Leicester, and West as far as the outskirts of Birmingham.

By the 1990s, the Golden Triangle had become the UK’s premier logistics hub, housing a high density of distribution facilities, home to some of the biggest names in retail.

But nearly 30 years later in 2019, questions over its status as a leading logistics hub, started to be asked, particularly amid the rise on online shopping and the challenge of automation.

Then the pandemic hit, and the rise of online retail fuelled demand for last-mile logistics space right across the UK, bringing into question, for some, the validity of the Golden Triangle’s standing.

So, does the Golden Triangle remain as a relevant as it once was? Carole Taylor, Regional Managing Partner (Midlands & North), discusses.

Over the course of the past three years, we’ve seen a boom in demand for industrial and logistics space across the UK, driven in part by Brexit and supply chain safeguarding, but also by the explosion in online retail caused by the pandemic.

However, the high level of demand we’ve seen nationally has not taken away from the Golden Triangle, but we have seen a split in the market with more and smaller units covering last-mile delivery located in all the major towns and cities.

What this means is that there are still regional and national industrial and logistics hubs, and last-mile delivery is not coming at the cost of the big hubs – rather in addition to them.

This demand, together with the lure of the connectivity benefits that the Golden Triangle boasts, makes it more prolific than ever. But it’s not just the Amazon’s of the world who make up the mainstay of this demand, although they are taking large hubs in the M6 triangle.

The area boasts a range of occupiers in the retail, medical and automotive sectors too, who benefit from the area’s connectivity and access to a skilled labour force.

What’s available where?

Magna Park 

Spanning some 550 acres, Magna Park at Lutterworth was the cornerstone logistics development of the Golden Triangle, established in 1987.

Today, it is home to 29 different occupiers with significant hubs, from Amazon, Whistl and Asda, to Wayfair and Disney.

The site has gone through many phases of development over the years, a great deal of which has happened recently, with units being snapped up as quickly as they are being delivered.

However, we need to see the next Magna Park come through, as some occupiers find themselves short on space and are beginning to look elsewhere.

Indeed, Rhenus Logistics, who are currently based at Magna Park in a 200,000 sq ft unit, will be relocating to Nuneaton where they have a design and build requirement spanning 900,000 sq ft over two units, by Junction 3 of M6.

Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT)

Delivered slightly later than Magna Park, Prologis DIRFT is recognised as the most successful intermodal (rail/road) logistics park in the UK, owing to its proximity to the M1 motorway and West Coast Mainline.

Home to major occupiers including Eddie Stobbart, DHL and Boohoo, amongst others, it has experienced tremendous success over the years, and still has some development land yet to come forth.

It continues to expand, with a new unit of 327,000 sq ft currently being developed on a speculative basis, which is expected to be available in May .


At Hinckley, occupier demand remains high and there is a significant lack of supply. However, the last phase of IM Properties’ 82-acre scheme at Hinckley Park, Junction 1 of the M69, which extends to 18 acres, is now being marketed for B1 light industrial and B2 general industrial use, across a range of buildings up to 450,000 sq ft.

Castle Donington

Situated close to East Midlands Airport, the original Castle Donington Industrial estate is a well-established logistics hub and has moved on significantly over the years.

Today, the area boasts Segro’s Logistics Park – East Midlands Gateway. A 700-acre development adjacent to the airport, which has delivered over 4.5m sq ft of logistics accommodation to date, with a further c.70,000 sq ft available.

Meanwhile Clowes’ 2.5 million sq ft East Midlands Distribution Centre is home to a one million square foot e-commerce Distribution Centre for Marks and Spencer, with available units ranging between 30,000 sq ft to 342,744 sq ft.


Located at J10 of the M42, Tamworth had two main logistics sites at Relay Business Park and Birch Coppice Business Park, which cater for a range of industrial and other retail uses with occupiers including Volkswagen who have a 650,000 sq ft parts facility there.

Now next door to that, a new distribution park is now being developed at Core 42, where rents have reached around £8.25 psf.

Also at Junction 10, St. Modwen Tamworth, where rents are currently sitting at £7.25 psf, is a 321,204 sq ft speculatively built unit recently let to Moonpig on a 15-year lease thanks to its location and quality. The letting gave the developer the confidence to press on with the speculative development of the wider 35-acre park, situated at Junction 10 of the M42.


In Coventry, 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.

Prologis have now completed Prologis Park Ryton, with the last unit DC9, a speculative unit extending to 330,770 sq ft now let to Ceva Logistics at a rent of £7.50 psf.

To complement that, Coventry Logistics Park, acquired by Bericote in partnership with JP Morgan Asset Management, has been completed and is now fully-let to DHL, Geodis and Viad, where rents have reached £10.00 psf.

Over at Antsy Park, Opus Land are proposing a new grade A industrial scheme comprising three units ranging from 66,000 – 103,000 sq ft for B1 and B2 uses. Meanwhile, Barberry Industrial Ltd has revealed plans for an £11m advanced manufacturing unit – Barberry 50 – spanning 50,750 sq ft. Both schemes will provide much-needed high-quality manufacturing accommodation in the area.


Rugby Gateway, a joint venture between Roxhill Developments and SEGRO plc, is the main development of note in Rugby – a 20-acre prime logistics site offering 1.8 million sq ft of logistics accommodation, which the likes of Amazon, H&M, Hermes and DHL call home.

Located immediately adjacent to Junction 1 of the M6 motorway at the heart of the distribution ‘golden triangle’, it provides direct access to the national motorway network with the M1 motorway less than three miles away.

What can you expect to pay?

Occupiers should expect to see industrial rents continue to rise across all standard of units in the Golden Triangle in 2023, as demand continues to outstrip supply and build cost continues to impact schemes. Having said that, the latter is starting to stabilise with materials not increasing at the rate they once were.

At Chase Point a second-hand unit has been let at £9.25 psf, so we can see that rents, even on lesser-quality units, are still strong. However, whilst rents in Coventry have reached £10.00 psf and will continue to rise, we don’t expect this to be at the same rate as it has been over the last few months

What the future holds

With demand such as it is, the Golden Triangle absolutely remains relevant as the UK’s centre for logistics – perhaps more so than it has ever been.

Demand for industrial and logistics space in the Golden Triangle isn’t going to diminish. Procurement won’t change, manufacturers aren’t going to reduce their ‘just-in-time’ reliance, so there will continue to be a need for storage.

The main challenge facing this location, however, is land supply, which is reliant on the Local Plan process. There simply isn’t enough land to feed occupier demand – indeed, we have a requirement for 350,000 sq ft for a client at the moment with nothing readily available.

Various Local Plans are being revisited with this in mind. However, we need to see much more collaboration between neighbouring authorities, to ensure more of a strategic approach to land supply. What we are seeing at the moment, is a lack of joined-up thinking, despite local authorities all touching each other’s boundaries.

This needs to change if we are to ensure that the Golden Triangle remains relevant as a leading light in industrial and logistics for years to come.

For support with your industrial or logistics requirements, get in touch with our Birmingham-based industrial agency team.