2009 proved difficult for businesses all over the world, meaning that financial institutions were inadvertently acquiring assets that they didn’t quite know what to do with.
One such example was in Doncaster, where the Royal Bank of Scotland found itself in possession of a brownfield site formerly home to Dixon Motors – a sad casualty of the financial crash at the time. The bank subsequently put the site on the market, quickly catching the eye of HBD. With a rich history of successful collaborations, HBD proposed the evolution of this site through a joint venture.
Driven by years of experience, and the prospect of realising the potential of a scheme of this scale, HBD moved plans forward with its new partner. The development was then bolstered with the news that HBD had secured a grant from the European Development Fund – paving the way for this site to be transformed into a pivotal scheme for the local area.
In total, the site spanned 26 acres, and faced with such scale HBD recommended taking a phased development approach – something it has so often advocated across its portfolio. The programme saw HBD start with infrastructure, ensuring that roads and utilities could adequately support this site sustainably and for the long term.
Pockets of land were divided, and different uses sought; a third was proposed for retail with demand quickly evident and five acres were developed for Aldi and B&M. Pub operator Marsden’s then completed a deal to bring a new pub and hotel to the area, before the flurry of activity culminated in deals with five occupiers including KFC, McDonalds and Taco Bell.
HBD then turned its attention to the industrial side of the park, an existing 45,000 sq ft warehouse and 50,000 sq ft HQ office were refurbished and over 100,000 sq ft of new industrial units were speculatively built on the land, with the support of ERDF funding.
A total 10 units were created, all of which were sold within two years of completion. Furniture Village took a leasehold deal to locate their depot at Thorne Park, which was later sold to Doncaster Council as an investment for their portfolio, and as a great new facility for the region.
Before Thorne Park, the town’s high street was struggling – further reinforcing the significance of this transformational scheme.
Fast forward to today and the completed Thorne Park development is home to 12 dynamic businesses; companies like Boxes and Packaging, Stoneacre Motors, Furniture Village, Purex International, Aldi, Marstons and KFC . The scheme has acted as a catalyst for employment in the area, creating many jobs along the way.