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Former Alfred Herbert Works gets new lease of life

A major industrial site of historic importance in Coventry has been sold in a deal worth approximately £7.5 million.

The Wigley Group has sold the land which once housed the world-famous Alfred Herbert manufacturing works in Edgwick Park to the Harmsworth Pooled Property Unit Trust.

The leading commercial property, construction and risk company began a speculative development of its three-acre plot just off the main gateway from the M6 into the city earlier this year to provide 65,000 sq ft of high-quality industrial units.

James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We have completed a forward-funded deal whereby we are selling the land and our construction arm, Wigley Building and Development, are building the units on behalf of the purchaser.”

The site, once well-known for the Top Shop from its Alfred Herbert era and now renamed Edgwick Point, forms part of 35 acres bought by The Wigley Group in the late 1970s.

It marked the start of the company’s venture into the commercial property market and large sections have been regenerated and sold over the years to companies including Gallagher and Lidl.

Davies added: “The sale marks a historic transition in ownership.  It is the final piece in the jigsaw in terms of the development and regeneration of what was the oldest investment in our commercial property portfolio.

“It is an extremely proud moment for The Wigley Group and we look forward to delivering the completed development to the new owners which will signal a new and exciting chapter for a site of great importance to Coventry’s manufacturing past.”

Property consultancy Gerald Eve acted on behalf of the Harmsworth Pooled Property Unit Trust in acquiring the site situated on Canal Road, just off the A444.

Jon Ryan-Gill, Partner Birmingham, from Gerald Eve, said: “This is a key purchase for my client who has been extending their industrial portfolio in the regions. We look forward to working with The Wigley Group to complete the units and bring them to market in Spring 2019.”

Wright Hassall and Lodders Solicitors acted for The Wigley Group in the sale, and Reed Smith represented the purchaser.  Vining Management is overseeing the construction of the units on behalf of The Wigley Group.

Work on the development comprises one block of 25,000 sq ft and two blocks of 20,000 sq ft capable of sub-division, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.