All but one remaining office unit has been acquired at a prime Sheffield business park after new occupiers were attracted by its excellent location and high specification units.
Wassenburg Medical Devices is the latest business name to relocate to Smithy Wood Business Park -a 50-acre development of high specification offices and industrial units – leaving just one of the original six office units left.
The sale of 8,000 sq ft to Wassenburg sees the company join fellow occupiers Medilink (Yorkshire and Humber) and Arthrex, leading to the emergence of a cluster of medical businesses.
The remaining occupiers at Smithy Wood, which is located immediately adjacent to the M1 motorway, are established names Kier Building Maintenance, 5m Publishing and Konica Minolta, with Konica sharing their building with Medilink.
Now Wassenburg, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of endoscope decontamination and storage products, is transferring its UK operation from an industrial estate near Rotherham to Smithy Wood.
The move, just a few miles up the M1 from its current location, means the company can retain the skills and expertise of its existing staff but also cut costs.
The new offices will add value for NHS customers relying on Wassenburg’s technology for effective decontamination of endoscopes, thanks to a new training facility. Some 1,500 sq ft of the 8,000 sq ft unit will become a dedicated area where NHS staff will benefit from certified courses run by the company’s National Training Officers.
“As we no longer manufacture in the UK, the emphasis is more on sales and service”, said operations director Rob Salter. “This move will not only enable us to improve our training offer, which is highly-valued by the NHS, but also give us access to 4,000 sq ft of high quality office space on the first floor.
“We are also relocating our servers from the UK to the world headquarters near Nijmegen in the Netherlands and establishing a fibre-optic link between the two. This will bring the benefits of free telephone calls both within the unit at Smithy Wood and between the new offices and Holland, making use of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology.
“We also have an intelligent phone system which, when placing a call to an overseas destination, automatically calculates whether it is more cost-effective to make that call from Holland or the UK.
“This will reduce our telecoms costs tremendously and is an added bonus of moving to Smithy Wood.”
Earlier this year fellow Rotherham organisation Cutting & Wear, took a three-acre landscaped site in the industrial section of Smithy Wood. The engineering company’s relocation to a new purpose-built 38,000 sq ft office and manufacturing plant is expected to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint, while also enabling Cutting & Wear to handle larger components.
Smithy Wood Business Park is a joint venture by St Pauls Developments and the Duke of Norfolk, with commercial property consultants Knight Frank and Fowler Sandford acting as agents.
Dennis Enuson, development manager at St Paul’s Developments, said: “We’re very pleased about the type of occupiers Smithy Wood continues to attract. Arthrex and Wassenburg, both global companies, chose Smithy Wood to locate their UK headquarters, while Kier Building Maintenance also opted to relocate their head office function
“Due to this interest we now have just one office building available, but the reaming 33 acres of pre-prepared development platforms offers potential Smithy Wood investors and occupiers a wide range of design and build opportunities from the 8,000 sq ft self-contained office to a single 600,000 sq ft industrial unit.”
Rebecca Schofield, associate at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, said: “The success of Smithy Wood is down to its many positive selling points – the great location of the high specification buildings, the excellent environment and strong labour and transport links.
“Two of the three key out-of-town office transactions in Sheffield last year were at Smithy Wood – Kier Building Maintenance and 5M Publishing – and Wassenburg’s relocation shows the business park is proving just as popular in 2011.
“To see all but one unit taken up so quickly means the aim of providing the best units possible in the best surroundings has been achieved.”
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