HBD and Barnfield secure first occupier for APTUS in Preston

Developers Barnfield and HBD, part of Henry Boot, have exchanged contracts with Kerakoll UK for a 10-acre site at APTUS, the JV’s strategic employment scheme in Preston.

Kerakoll is a world leader in green building materials with a UK turnover of over £40m at the end of 2023, over 130 employees and 1,000 loyal customers. Kerakoll has taken a 10-acre site at APTUS, with plans to develop a bespoke new building, expanding its network to run both its UK and Nordic operations from the development.

Planning was granted for the 800,000 sq ft APTUS scheme in December 2023, paving the way for units from 25,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft close to J31A of the M6. The new development will play a key role in boosting the Lancashire economy, with the potential to create as many as 1,500 new jobs.

Vivienne Clements, Executive Director for Industrial and Logistics at HBD, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to provide a solution for Kerakoll as it looks to expand its UK and northern European network. The deal will act as a catalyst for the delivery of the scheme and demonstrates the continued demand in the market for high-quality, sustainable industrial and logistics space in key strategic locations.

“We look forward to seeing the first unit take shape this year, as infrastructure works start in spring followed by construction in summer.”

Tracy Clavell-Bate, Head of Development and Acquisition at Barnfield Group, said: “APTUS is the JV’s second project in Preston following the circa £30m sale and completion of Preston East, which was acquired by Titan Investors and counts DPD and DHL among its occupiers.

“As well as this being a huge development opportunity for the joint venture, Barnfield Construction the contracting arm of Barnfield Group, will be constructing the unit on behalf of Kerakoll. As we are getting close to starting the infrastructure works on site, the units at APTUS are generating a considerable number of enquiries and proposal requests.”

Marco Zini, CEO of Kerakoll Group, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts with HBD and Barnfield to have acquired this strategic site close to our existing operation in Preston. The proposed building will be paramount for our expansion and growth in the UK and northern Europe in the years ahead.”

APTUS can accommodate units ranging from 25,000 to 500,000 sq ft. The agents for APTUS are Gerald Eve, Young & Co and Eckersley Property.

HBD, part of Henry Boot, is one of the UK’s most well-established property developers. Part of the Henry Boot Group, it boasts an impressive track record, strong financial backing and a reputation for delivery that has seen it become the partner of choice for local authorities, investors, and developers. Working with a £1.26bn development pipeline, HBD operates from six UK offices, focusing on industrial and logistics, urban regeneration and residential projects.

Barnfield Group are contractors, developers and investors working with public and private sector partners and clients for more than 40 years. Headquartered in Lancashire, the £80m turnover property group is delivering a diverse range of schemes on more than 30 live sites nationwide. The organisation is a market leader in its field, with an excellent track record in every sector of the industry.