The 40-acre site of the Alfred Herbert Ltd works in Coventry was developed over a 40-year period into a major commercial hub with a strong mix of uses, from retail to industrial.
The project is the biggest to date in the company’s history and has created a corridor of economic vitality on the main gateway from the M6 into the city, which was decimated by the demise of the machine tool maker in the early 1980s.
Founder John Wigley took his first step into land and property management in 1979 when he acquired 10 acres of land and property from Alfred Herbert Ltd, splitting the buildings and workshops up into small industrial units.
With the motor industry in decline, many of the units provided a base for redundant workers to start up their own enterprises over the next 25 years.
The site was reassembled for development in 2005 which allowed The Wigley Group to build a new 30,000sq ft delivery depot which it then leased to the Royal Mail. The following year, adjoining land was sold to Lidl for a supermarket, and in 2017, the final section was sold for the creation of a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
A further 26 acres of land purchased in 1987 with the existing buildings let out to various companies until planning permission was granted in 1996 for the land to be redeveloped into what is now the Gallagher Retail Park, a thriving shopping destination, with occupiers including Argos, Aldi, and McDonald’s.
In 2015, adjacent land was acquired and developed into Vantage Park, a retail trade park, and was quickly fully let to occupiers including Magnet and a Honda motorcycle dealership. The site was sold in 2017.
The company collaborated with Coventry City Council to secure the recovery of 10 acres of land that had been rendered obsolete due to the amount of spoil left from the creation of the A444, buying the land and selling it off in two parcels, to Vauxhall and Greene King for a car dealership and pub to be built respectively, with a large section left as parkland for the local community.
The final piece of the jigsaw saw The Wigley Group set about creating Edgwick Point and in October 2018 the company completed a forward-funded deal whereby the land was sold, but continued to build 65,000sq ft of commercial space on behalf of the purchaser.
The sale of the Royal Mail North Hub at the end of 2018 marked the end of The Wigley Group’s holdings in the historic site.
Its regeneration has been the catalyst for close but unassociated land to be developed for housing, leisure and retail, most notably the Ricoh Arena and Arena Park.