Babcock in 70,000 sq/ft Leicester Office Refurbishment
Babcock International Group has agreed to lease 70,000 sq ft at Davidsons Developments and Rotherhill Developments’ new Leicester office refurbishment near Birmingham in the Midlands, on a site formerly occupied by BAE systems – representing one of the largest Leicester office deals this year. The engineering firm who employs 500 people at the current Whetstone offices will move its operations to Radar Road. BAE Systems had to close its operations at the location after losing a contract with the MOD to supply armoured vehicles that was won by the US company General Dynamics.
The new office location is owned by James Wilson, Managing Director of Davidsons Developments. Mr Wilson and Paul Bagshaw of Rotherhill Developments have worked closely with Babcock to facilitate the move and the project has been co-funded by Lloyds Bank.
James Wilson said “This is the largest office letting in Leicester for some considerable time. There is 70,000 sq ft of accommodation including 50,000 sq ft of office space on 4 acres of land – with very good road connections. All in all a great spot for a new regional office”. Mr Wilson added “We will be spending substantial sums on refurbishment to create a modern office for the Babcock team, which is also good news for the local construction sector”.
Liz Fuge from Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking and Markets said ”We have had a number of discussions with James Wilson about his plans in Leicestershire and this is a significant project that has great value for all involved. We are pleased to be co-funding a venture that is so good for Leicester and that retains a major company within the county. We are always keen to talk to local businesses about how we can provide finance to help growth.”
Paul Bagshaw, MD of Rotherhill Developments, who is managing the project for James Wilson, said “Since the site was purchased we have had considerable interest for a variety of uses, but we are particularly pleased to have secured such a prestigious office development. The construction work on the site will begin this autumn and it’s expected that the move will take place next summer”.
Before Babcock’s move, which is due to take place next summer, the company will carry out an extensive office refurbishment of the building. The firm said the new premises would provide modern facilities for its employees. Group property manager Rodney Ackland said: “This is a good fit for the Babcock operating divisions involved. “We needed a new location in Leicestershire. The new office, which is only five miles away from our existing facility, will enable us to offer an improved working environment for employees relocating. Members of staff are aware of the proposal and we expect a smooth transition from the current location to Radar Road during summer 2013.”