During the last 12 months, Rigby Real Estate has continued to focus on its initial development activities across the Rigby Group’s existing airport assets at Coventry, Norwich and Exeter.


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The Rigby Group’s commercial property developments are undertaken by Rigby Real Estate Commercial Ltd, Ostrava Properties, Imperial Park and through Coventry & Warwickshire Development Partnership LLP (“CWDP”) - a joint venture between the group, Roxhill Developments and SEGRO Plc.

The commercial property business continues to identify development and income opportunities across the property portfolio. These opportunities involve securing planning consent at Gateway South in Coventry for 3.6 million sq. ft. of logistics buildings as part of CWDP and over 800,000 sq. ft. of employment space at Norwich Airport.

During the second half of the year, Rigby Real Estate has focused on maximising development and income returns at Aviation Business Park, Bournemouth following its acquisition by the Group in December 2017; along with securing deliverable planning consents to ensure the park remains the leading business location in Dorset.

Long term development opportunities are also being considered around Exeter Airport to support future growth. Overall, the Rigby Real Estate portfolio is expected to benefit from strong tenant demand, with limited supply of competing product and will remain opportunity-led rather than sector specific.

In May 2017, Ostrava Property completed Imperial Park, Coventry and handed the development over to M&G. The development comprised 575,000 sq. ft. of logistics space in three detached self-contained buildings. The Group generated £2.2m of EBITDA on the development during the year.

In July 2017, the CWDP LLP successfully secured planning permission for Whitley South comprising manufacturing, logistics, research and development buildings with supporting uses including a local centre, hotel, car showroom and public open space. CWDP then sold 29 acres to Jaguar Land Rover for their new International HQ and R&D facility, with infrastructure works also commencing on site. The Whitley South development has not contributed any profit to the Group results during the year.

Rigby Real Estate was pivotal in the purchase of Bournemouth Airport by Regional & City Airports in December 2017. The acquisition also included the purchase of Aviation Business Park which extends to over 2 million sq. ft. of business space, with 200 tenants. Subsequent to year end, over £31m of investment properties held in the Group’s Airports division was transferred to the Commercial Real Estate division. The 2018 Real Estate division results do not include any revenues or profits generated from the Aviation Business Park.

Since the Bournemouth Airport acquisition, and through proactive management, the total Bournemouth Airport portfolio rental income has increased by nearly £1m per annum. The business park will continue to be the focus of the division’s activities; a master planning exercise has already commenced to bring forward 150 acres of development land capable of being delivered over the next five years.

At Norwich Airport, the division has master planned 80 acres of employment land, situated to the north of the airport. The site, adjacent to the recently opened northern relief road which will link the site to the city’s proposed eastern growth point and the A47 Norwich Southern bypass, will provide the main employment area in this part of Norwich. During 2018 and 2019 the focus will be to secure and implement a viable planning consent.