Freeport drives up city industrial demand

Freeport plans are driving demand for industrial space close to Liverpool city centre and one agency says a lack of supply is creating a ‘hotspot’. Tony McDonough reports

Lightbody Street
An industrial property on Lightbody Street in Liverpool


Commercial property agency Keppie Massie says plans to create a new Freeport are driving up demand for industrial space around Liverpool city centre.

Earlier this year Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced Liverpool city region would become one of eight new designated Freeport areas. Freeports are designated zones where normal tax and customs rules do not apply.

It is expected the city region Freeport will be up and running next year and it will be quite different from Liverpool’s previous Freeport. That was only focused on the Port of Liverpool. The latest incarnation will encompass multiple sites, including Liverpool John Lennon Airport and both sides of the river.

This week, Keepie Massie has secured a letting on what it is calling a “rare” industrial space on the edge of the city centre. The property on Lightbody Street, which includes multiple railway arch storage, high eaves and a large yard space, has been let to R&H Site Services on a long-term lease agreement on behalf of a private owner.

An adjacent 6,500 sq ft property on Bentinck Street is also coming to market shortly and Tim Garnett, head of commercial at Keppie Massie, believes the high demand for such spaces highlights the lack of supply of industrial space near to the city.

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He said: “The volume and quality of properties available for employment use has deteriorated in Liverpool over recent years, with much of it quickly giving way to residential usage.

“Modern, high-end industrial space close to the city centre is therefore rare, leading to an acute demand in the market which is reflected in strong rental values achieved at Lightbody Street and also anticipated at Bentinck Street.

“The growth of the Freeport, ongoing infrastructure changes, Ten Streets regeneration and longer-term plans for Liverpool Waters mean that north of Liverpool city centre is a hotspot for occupiers and investors alike.”

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