A business park on the outskirts of Swansea which still only has one tenant after years of marketing could attract more with a change in occupation policy, according to a chartered surveyor. Jason Thorne said he has been helping a developer try to acquire land at Parc Felindre, near junction 46 of the M4, but without success.
Mr Thorne, co-director at Hunt and Thorne chartered surveyors, Swansea Enterprise Park, said he believed the types of occupant sought for Parc Felindre needed to be expanded. The business park was developed jointly by the Welsh Government and Swansea Council.
In 2018 it emerged that £36 million had been spent preparing the site – a former tinplate works. Since then only logistics company DPD has located there, taking up three of 12 available units, although the Welsh Government said new enquiries were being assessed. But Mr Thorne a change of tack was needed. “All they need to do is change their policy of occupation,” he said. You can get more Swansea news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.
The council and Welsh Government want to attract tech, digital, life science and high-end manufacturing tenants to Parc Felindre. The existing uses for the site also include light industrial. They said this approach was regularly reviewed with the aim of attracting high-quality jobs to the business park. They added that the marketing was recently updated to ensure the 106-acre site was continually promoted to the target audience.
The council and Welsh Government said: “Discussions with a number of companies and developers are ongoing. It is not uncommon for large development sites to take time to reach their full potential and current issues such as rising construction and energy costs alongside the impact of Brexit and the pandemic add to this challenge.”
Speaking in August, 2021, Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said there were “strong” enquiries from potential tenants.
Mr Thorne said the developer he had been representing wanted to buy land at Parc Felindre and build units there for sale or lease. He said there was an interested logistics and manufacturing occupier. You can read more stories about Swansea here.
Mr Thorne said he felt the life science use wasn’t suitable for Parc Felindre because people who worked in that sector wanted restaurants and a railway station nearby. “It’s not going to become a science park location,” he said.
In response to a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Swansea Council said £21,746 had been spent on marketing costs for Parc Felindre over the last five financial years. Two agents, JLL and Bruton Knowles, market the site.
The council said £63,577 had been spent maintaining Parc Felindre during those five years, and that 52 enquiries had been made about it.
Find images from Wales’s past here: