£105m development opportunity at defence and security sector Zone

A £105m development opportunity in Herefordshire is one of a handful of sites across the Midlands promoted at global property investment expo MIPIM this week. 

Skylon North Magazine and Skylon South are the premier development locations on Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone, a 70 hectare business park focusing on regional business sector strengths notably defence, security and advanced manufacturing. 

The sites feature as part of the Department for International Trade's investment portfolio for Midlands UK at MIPIM in Cannes. 

Both Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone and landowner Herefordshire Council, are open to discussions about investment type and structure, with phasing of the investment opportunity as an option. 

Managing director Mark Pearce said: "There is already considerable business interest in Skylon Park, with 55,000 sq.m of development space built, under construction or in advanced negotiation with 34 new businesses already in occupation. Private sector investment in land and buildings is already well in excess of £30m. 

"Current investors in the Park include KGD Engineering, operating in the offshore oil and gas industry, and Techtest/HR Smith, an avionics manufacturing company, manufacturing advanced airborne antenna systems for commercial and military application." 

Major investment is already under way on infrastructure, services and ground preparation to provide development ready areas, including an ultrafast broadband network. Outline planning permission is already in place as part of a simplified, speedy and free process. 

The North Magazine comprises 10 hectares and by early 2020 will be home to a £7m Business Incubation Centre including development space for businesses to interact with a new University being created in Hereford, specialising in engineering. 

Skylon South comprises 4 hectares as a next phase development with immediate access onto the dedicated access road linking to the trunk road network.  It will be adjoining a new £9m Centre dedicated to Cyber Security business and research, sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton and due to be opened in late 2019. 

Due to the proximity of the UK Special Forces base, QinetiQ at Malvern Science Park and GCHQ at Cheltenham, the area is known for its specialism in defence and security, and the Cyber Centre will add to that asset base.

The project promoter is Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone acting on behalf of the landowner Herefordshire Council. Hereford Enterprise Zone Ltd is a specific public/private partnership company created to facilitate the development of Skylon Park and to enhance the local economy.