Race for space at old Sheffield airport

Artist's impression of Sheffield Business Park showing Factory 2050 in the foreground and construction on Phase 2, the old runway.
Artist's impression of Sheffield Business Park showing Factory 2050 in the foreground and construction on Phase 2, the old runway.
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The boss of Sheffield Business Park can see a time when the giant site is full - following two new deals worth £1.375m and a surge in interest from potential occupiers.

Graham Sadler, business park managing director, said he was seeing a “race for space” sparked by the start of construction on Sheffield University’s Factory 2050, plans for an Innovation District centred on the nearby Advanced Manufacturing Park, the end of the recession and “a limited supply of flat land in Sheffield.”

He commented after two companies announced they had bought land on Zone 6 at the Tinsley end of the 200-acre business park, which encompasses all of the former Sheffield City Airport.

Tuffnells Parcels Express, whose headquarters is nearby, has bought 3.55 acres to develop a new parcel and JCT 600 has purchased a 0.10 acre plot to expand its existing VW Gilders van centre.

Mr Sadler said: “I can see people thinking, ‘if I don’t get in shortly we will lose out’.

“It’s clear there’s a lot happening and I can see a time when the business park is full.

“The University of Sheffield’s commitment to building Factory 2050 on the park has stimulated significant interest from advanced manufacturing companies and their supply chains which further enhances the development’s profile.”

There were just two big plots left, he added.

The 50-acre Phase 2 site - the former airport runway - and 16-acres in Zone One at the Rotherham end of the park.

The old runway has been dug up and preparation works are set to complete in summer.

“We are in discussions with two parties about Phase 2, I’m optimistic we will have signed up one user by the middle of this year,” Mr Sadler said.

The plot has Enterprise Zone status offering generous tax breaks and superfast broadband.

The land sales were completed by a joint venture between JF Finnegan and Sheffield Business Park.

Nick Gillott, Finnegan director said: “This year has kicked off with a real sense of renewed optimism.”

and vigour.”