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9:00am Thursday 16th May 2013
One of Banbury’s most significant office buildings has come on the market. Blenheim Court, situated in the centre of Banbury, comprises about 37,000 sq ft of modern quality office space with suites ranging from 3,000 to 26,000 sq ft. These will be available to let together or individually. The property itself is centrally located within a few minutes walk from Banbury railway station and the main Castle Quay Shopping Centre, as well as being adjacent to the town’s Canalside Vision regeneration project. Significantly, it is within two minutes drive of Junction 11 of the London to Birmingham M40 motorway. The building provides great potential for high quality office accommodation prominently located in the heart of the country with excellent access to the national motorway and rail networks. Agents Cluttons and White Commercial are marketing the leasehold of the property and are also considering a freehold sale. Alternative uses such as hotels or residential conversions may also be suitable subject to planning. Chris White, managing director of White Commercial Surveyors, said: “Banbury has a developed and thriving commercial centre driven by its location at Junction 11 of the M40 London to Birmingham Motorway and this particular site is in a very prominent town centre location close to Banbury’s mainline railway station.”
11:13am Thursday 9th May 2013
Digital dictation systems firm Lexacom has moved into new headquarters in Banbury. The business, which works across the healthcare, legal, financial services and property sectors, has taken the whole of East Court at Hardwick Business Park — totalling 5,000 sq ft — on a new five year lease at a quoted rent of £65,000 a year. Hardwick Business Park comprises refurbished barn conversion buildings to the north of Banbury, sitting in a prime commercial and residential development area all previously occupied by Alcan Aluminiun. Alcan disposed of the farm and its landholding to both residential and commercial developers including Cannock Developments, Standard Life and Hardwick Business Park’s owner MIJ Grange Estates. Chris White, managing director of agents White Commercial, said: “This is good news for North Oxfordshire.We are seeing a substantial improvement in the take up of office accommodation in the area with more than 60,000 sq ft of offices about to be leased/occupied to new and expanding companies.” White Commercial has also completed the sale of Beaumont House, a 23,000 sq ft office building, to Nene Group. Nene Group is a family business trading since the late 1960s specialising in industrial property development and ownership as well as pallet racking and material handling. The six storey Beaumont House is to undergo a major refit costing more than £1m to become the regional headquarters of logistics and transport giant Kuehne & Nagel. Weatherbeeta, the main tenant of the building, has surrendered its lease on 11,500 sq ft and acquired new premises at Banbury Business Park. “This is excellent news for Banbury and retains more than 80 jobs for Kuehne & Nagel in the North Oxfordshire area,” Chris White added. “We have also been advising Weatherbeeta for some time on the disposal of its Beaumont House offices and its relocation to 10,000 sq ft of quality office accommodation at Banbury Business Park which keeps another major business in Banbury. “In difficult economic times we are finding many companies are looking to expand and to improve the efficiency and quality of their premises for their current business needs whilst also taking advantage of flexible and economic leasing transactions.”
11:10am Thursday 9th May 2013
Farmland prices still rising despite challenging economic climate and pressure on farm incomes. The sluggish economy and appalling weather conditions have put real pressure on farm incomes. However, prime arable land is forecast to increase by five per cent by the end of 2013 according to the latest Agricultural Land Indicator from agents Carter Jonas. Despite a challenging year for farmers and landowners, food security and supply and demand dynamics are driving strong price growth in the prime farmland market. Demand for lower quality land fell in 2012 and this decline is forecast to continue over the next 12 months. Values of secondary arable land will be subject to increasing downward pressure and it is predicted they could fall by up to 10 per cent during 2013. Catherine Penman, head of research at Carter Jonas, said: “Provided the supply of openly marketed land remains around current levels, circa 150,000 acres, the value of prime arable land will increase by five per cent by the end of the year.” This is significantly below the unprecedented price rises seen between 2009 and 2011, where prime agricultural land values almost doubled. Steven McLaughlin, partner in Carter Jonas Oxford’s rural team, said: “The Oxfordshire agricultural market follows the national trend. “Supply of good farms and estates in the county remains extremely tight. There is a weight of money out there looking to absorb any good land that comes on to the open market. “There are two types of significant buyers who are driving the market: those businesses making sufficient profits with a need to diversify their portfolios by buying land in specific areas for both enjoyment and investment and active farmers who are expanding. We see this trend in Oxfordshire continuing into next year. “Most importantly, it is the safe haven status of British agricultural land, which is almost on a par with the Prime Central London residential property market, along with the favourable taxation regime, which will continue to drive demand for this asset class.”
11:09am Thursday 9th May 2013
As the economy continues its volatile recovery from recession, Thame has seen its office market buck the general trend of lower take-up levels over the last year. Thame Park Business Centre, a mixed business park of office units and industrial warehouse space totalling 120,000 sq ft, is a good example. Four new businesses have moved in — Risborough Carers, Desktop Ideas, Thames Valley Police and RG2. A further two buildings are under offer. John Greaves, Director at agents Lambert Smith Hampton’s Oxford office, said: “The reason Thame Park Business Centre has proved popular is because it offers genuine grade A accommodation in self-contained buildings in an established business location. “The office market in Oxfordshire is still challenging, with limited demand and vacancy rates remaining stable. But these deals demonstrate occupiers are prepared to commit to new leases and capital expenditure, if the property suits their business requirements.” Mike Holifield, owner of Fields Chartered Surveyors in Thame, added: “2013 will undoubtedly be another challenging year for the commercial property market, but as a scheme that ticks the wishlist of so many prospective occupiers looking to upgrade their space, we are confident of equally positive performance with the last remaining industrial unit. And all of the office space is now either let or under offer.” The remaining industrial/warehouse unit covers 19,490 sq ft and includes two storey offices and parking and loading facilities. The unit has full heating and lighting systems.
11:07am Thursday 9th May 2013
STUDENTS at Abingdon and Witney college are gearing up for a move into a state-of-the-art new home. Work has started on the construction of a £741,000 purpose-built teaching block on the Abingdon campus which will house pupils on the Advanced Engineering and Motor Vehicle Skills course. The 4,300 sq ft purpose-built facility on Wootton Road will enable students to gain real experience of how a garage operates with vehicle work bays and an MoT station. Other features will include a computer-aided engineering and IT classroom, while the single-storey building itself will be environmentally friendly with solar panels on the roof. Michael Chiyasa, head of Environment Services at Abingdon and Witney College, added: “This is an exciting project which will enhance our facilities to keep in step with the high-quality of teaching and learning at the college.” Work on the new block which is on the east side of the college campus is being carried out by construction firm Stepnell, which has offices in Wantage. Stepnell managing director Mark Wakeford said: “This new building will provide students and staff with modern, industry-standard facilities.” Abingdon and Witney College is located at three main sites in Abingdon, Witney and Common Leys Farm near Hailey. A centre at Milton Park, near Didcot, provides training solutions for businesses including a growing apprenticeships programme. Another facility at Avenue One in Witney, provides industry-specific training in construction skills and associated trades. In the Government’s most recent Framework for Excellence results the college was placed first in Oxfordshire, with the highest percentage of students progressing into employment and learning after completing their course.
11:06am Thursday 9th May 2013
12:28pm Thursday 21st February 2013
12:27pm Thursday 21st February 2013
12:25pm Thursday 21st February 2013
12:24pm Thursday 21st February 2013
A golf club in a beautiful Cotswolds setting has come on the market. Feldon Valley Golf Club at Lower Brailes, near Banbury, comprises an 18 hole, 6,034 yard (par 71) course, practise facilities and a recently refurbished, 6,932 sq ft clubhouse.