Nic Rumsey, owner of Days Inn Haverhill and director of Carisbrooke Investments, the property development company behind the Haverhill Research Park and Haverhill Business Park, was the speaker at a recent bestof Haverhill event.
Continuing with the theme of “Wanting the best for Haverhill” Nic presented a comprehensive update on progress at the Haverhill Research Park, the application for funding for an Innovation Centre and the recapitalisation of Carisbrooke and the impact on the Haverhill Business Park.
During his third appearance as a guest speaker at the bestof Haverhill Nic gave an open and honest account of what has happened in the last year and the way forward for the projects.
The highlights for included raising the £8.75 million required to conclude the purchase of the remaining land at the Research Park. This was achieved from a combination of loans with £750,000 coming from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, £4 million from the Government’s Growing Places fund and £4 million from a private Sharia bank – Bank of London and Middle East. Other milestones included appointing Breheny as the building contractors; Secretary of State Eric Pickles digging the first sod in November; detailed planning consent being obtained by Taylor Wimpey and Marston for the residential land and pub and the appointment of Helen Chaplin as the onsite sales representative for the Park in January.
Adverse weather conditions have delayed the completion of the groundwork and infrastructure until the end of May. This has impacted on the landscaping timetable and the trees, hedging and planting, which have already been bought, cannot be planted out of season without being containerised. This process is now underway but it is likely to be June or July before the landscaping is in place.
By the end of December the pub should be open and the first homes completed for occupation. It is hoped to have attracted the first mainstream occupier for the Research Park by this time.
Nic choose thebestof Haverhill to announce that an application to the Department of Business for £2.5 million grant from their Regional Growth Fund had been made to help to finance the estimated £5.8 million cost of building an Innovation Centre on the Research Park.
Described as the ‘beating heart’ of the development the Innovation Centre would be run by a ‘Not for Profit Charitable Trust’ with future profits reinvested back into the building and associated activities.
“It’s early days and obviously it’s tough out there but we are cautiously optimistic. We are working closely with St Edmundsbury Borough Council. They are supporting us with an initiative which means we can offer a reduced Rates package to our first anchor tenant, which could be worth up to £275,000 over five years. We hope that offer combined with a five year service charge holiday and our competitive rents compared to Cambridge will make Haverhill Research Park irresistible!”, commented Nic.
The update on the Haverhill Business Park outlined how Carisbrooke Investments had been recapitalised in January. They had bought their debt back from Anglo Irish Bank in a very timely transaction as just weeks later the bank was liquidated.
Carisbrooke would now be in a position to start actively marketing the Haverhill Business Park again. Subject to planning the land can be developed for B1 offices/light industrial, B2 general industrial and B8 warehousing. It is ideal for a petrol filling station, car showroom and trade counters. Serviced land can be bought for £300,000 per acre with the ability to design and build your own unit or Carisbrooke can design and build and sell or rent to you.
Elaine Carr, owner of the bestof Haverhill comments, “As ever Nic gave us a real insight into the challenges of property development. The plans to fund the Innovation Centre are a great example of creative thinking. I hope that the funding application is successful and that local businesses support the Innovation Centre and the Research Park. It will be a very high quality environment and will bring kudos to any business located there.”
To watch weekly video updates on the progress at the Research Park visit www.haverhillresearchpark.com
Image: Courtesy of David Doughty @ The Gallery
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