Understandably, the number of speculative warehouse projects in the UK has plummeted in the last few years due to the onset of the global financial crisis.

This has led to a lack of available manufacturing and logistics space throughout the country, as funding for such projects continues to be cut.

However, the north-west supply chain is set to receive a major boost after work began this week on the first speculative warehouse project to go ahead in Britain since 2009.

The new Lancashire Business Park in Leyland is now under construction, having been funded by Lancashire County Developments Limited, the economic development company owned by Lancashire County Council.

With no tenants currently lined up to fill the space, the project represents something of a risk for its owners, although marketing firms Lambert Smith Hampton and Jones Lang LaSalle have been hired to generate interest in the site, with confidence high that a number of clients can be found.

Considering the lack of top quality logistics space in the area, this new development should prove very attractive to a number of companies, and could well open up scores of new supply chain jobs in Lancashire.

The complex will consist of two units each measuring 166,000 square feet, along with a third unit of 50,000 square feet, and construction is expected to be completed in June or July of this year.

Lancashire County Council made the decision to go ahead with the speculative project after a 450,000 square foot development was destroyed at the site by a fire in 2011, which exacerbated the warehouse shortage problem currently being faced by logistics operators in the area.

Not only are the two units the first to be built speculatively in the UK for a number of years, they are also the largest to be built without a buyer or tenant since 2008.

David Brooks, director of Jones Lang LaSalle, believes the new development will have no trouble finding an occupier due to its excellent transport links, commenting: "Lancashire Business Park is well serviced by the north-west motorway network, lying within 1.5 miles of the intersection of the M6, M61 and M65 motorways."

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