Over the last few years there has been an immense growth and interest for smaller, flexible, light industrial units. They are suited for a wide variety of different businesses and commercial enterprises. The flexibility of the units suit many diverse needs. Retailers may want to store stock in smaller regional distribution hubs, leisure activity companies may want to adapt the internal layout to suit a climbing wall or a golf driving simulator, as well as manufacturers having a compact area to produce their goods.
If you are considering starting, growing or expanding your business then the following explanations and tips may help you to come to the correct informed decision. These light industrial units are growing in popularity and can provide you with the ideal base of operations to take you forward successfully into the future.
So, what are light industrial units?
Light Industrial units fit into the Usage Classes of B2 and B8. Essentially this means that the business located within these units ultimately Supply or Support others.
Class B2 is termed as: The use for the carrying on an industrial process other than one falling within the uses described in Schedule 2, Class E, sub paragraph (g). Please see our further blog entry about the overall usage classes by clicking here. It is worth noting that this class does not include: incinerating purposes, chemical treatment, landfill or hazardous waste activities.
Class B8 is termed as: The use for storage or as a distribution centre including open air storage. Within this class there are some slight factors that can be taken into account. For example a business or commercial enterprise that has a trade counter can be classed within B8 because the warehouse element is for distribution purposes. A real life example of this would be Screwfix with a Trade Counter as well as the storage / warehouse activity. Ultimately the warehouse or storage has to be the main determining factor. If there is a shop or an office attached to this, then they have to be ancillary to the storage / warehouse function.
Light Industrial is different from Heavy industrial and can be defined due to the non-necessity of large plant and heavy machinery and / or equipment and without the requirement of large scale infrastructure such as train lines or a major road network. More of a generalised thought process is that Light Industrial / Commercial Units shouldn't be 'excessive' in floor area. The vast majority of units are usually much less 100,000 square feet. Most of the Light Industrial Units will be built 'open plan' with a large expanse of open and clear floor space. Having this open layout means that the space remains adaptable and set-up can be fast and geared specifically for the residing business. This approach has led to a huge uplift in demand in these kind of commercial properties.
What can these units be used for?
The easiest answer to this is to just let your imagination run wild! Within the units built here in Manston, Thanet, Kent there are Construction Firms, a Veterinary Practice, Various Building material suppliers, Home and garden supplies, internet shopping storage companies, catering suppliers, recruitment companies, a golf coaching company, florists, and a brewery. A lot of these companies would not survive on the high street due to the excessive costs and business rates associated with purchasing or renting, but a dedicated place for operations in a well resourced and managed commercial or industrial park makes their companies more than viable. The addition of having complementary business within a few metres also helps to solidify relationships and build a great community of like-minded businesses and people. If you have an idea for a company and you cannot think of how to adapt a premises to complement your model, please feel free to contact us and discuss things with our highly experienced and friendly team.
Features and Benefits
"Mighty oaks grow from little acorns" is a well used phrase. This phrase can easily be applied to these light industrial and commercial units. Whether you start by renting the property in the business infancy stage through to a later purchase as things become more viable, even scaling further upwards to incorporate many separate or joined units, these units allow the flexibility to grow as you and your business grows. The units should be flexible and future proofed where it is financially viable to do so. A few salient points to note are as follows:
Many of these light industrial units will incorporate roller shutter doors in order that they can facilitate deliveries and shipments accordingly. It is important for them to be compliant too. You should seek inclusions of a toilet and kitchenette, lighting both internally and externally and insulated external panels including the roof. Pedestrian doors should really be included too.
As time moves on it is becoming more and more important to consider the sustainability of any property or purchase. Are the materials sourced responsibly where practical to do so. Has insulation been taken into account and provided? Is the local area / business park well managed and planted with indigenous species? Even down to guttering, has this been considered? All these things point to a conscientious and responsible developer and estate owner. You will be buying well and correctly if these have been taken into account.
Light Industrial units are built with different businesses in mind. Higher internal areas allow the businesses to maximise the storage space provided. Open plan areas allow for flexibility for any required machinery, vehicles, equipment and smaller storage items such as filing cabinets or cupboards.
Light Industrial, Storage and / or commercial units should be viewed the same as residential properties in that location is key. Great locations will take into account factors such as how close your customer base is. Is the business park close to a residential area if your business needs them to be? It is better for your customers to be able to easily reach you rather than having a competitor nearer. Are there good communication links, if required? Do you require larger items to be transported via a roadway or train? Do you trade nationally or internationally? With any of these factors such as roadways, train stations, ports and airports it can all be critical to have them near to you and your business. An excellent location with these in place for not only now but also potential in the future too.
Security should always be at the forefront of your mind. Your business will often carry valuable items such as IT Equipment and your stock or vehicles. Most Light Industrial units will have an alarm system, external floodlights and also security cameras. It is worth checking to see if the entrances are also lockable or gated.
So, how do I select the right Light Industrial or Commercial Unit for my business?
We agree that there are many things to take into account when selecting the correct location for your Light Industrial or Commercial Unit for your business. The decision ultimately lies with you, however, we have an experienced team that can assist you with your decision making process. This will allow you to make an informed decision and we will be with you every step of the way. If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please feel free to CONTACT US. It doesn't matter if you decide to opt for a rental unit or if you are thinking about purchasing the unit but it does matter when you are selecting the correct features and benefits that match your business and business model.
Investing in an industrial new build unit is more than just acquiring a physical space; it's an investment in long-term growth and prosperity. Our units provide a solid foundation for businesses to scale and expand, offering the flexibility to accommodate changing needs. Furthermore, owning a new build unit allows businesses to build equity and avoid rising rental costs associated with leased properties. By securing your own industrial space, you gain greater control over your operations, positioning your business for sustained success.
Industrial new build units offer a compelling proposition for businesses seeking to maximise their potential and operational efficiency. With tailored spaces, advanced infrastructure, strategic locations, and a focus on safety and sustainability, our units provide a solid foundation for growth and success. Investing in an industrial new build unit is an investment in the future of your business, empowering you to unlock new possibilities, streamline operations, and achieve greater heights. Embrace the power of purpose-built spaces and position your business for a prosperous tomorrow.
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