The last year has shown that resilience and adaptability are key in any market. Small and medium businesses have excelled and evolved swiftly to meet the rising challenge put to them by COVID. However, some had an advantage. Those who were in shops or traditional offices were hit hardest by the Lockdown restrictions, struggling to comply with Government guidance even as restrictions eased due to the shape, layout, ventilation of their premises or just strained by the large volumes of staff they were designed to be filled with. However, occupiers of industrial units had an inherent advantage; their large open spaces, the nature of their units allowed them to change their working practice and forge ahead.

It is for this reason that so many occupiers of industrial units have seen such consistent trade in recent months or those linked to e-commerce and distribution, massive growth. Whether their success is because they re-orientated their business to create PPE and hand gel or just had the ability to socially distance their staff these businesses have carried on regardless, stepping head and shoulders over their competition.

This is part the ingenuity of the business owners but largely thanks to the buildings. Whilst they may not be the prettiest buildings, industrial units are perhaps the most flexible accommodation in the commercial market. Long overlooked due to the steel skins and drab interiors they are now being seen for what they are, an endless possibility. I have seen warehouse, factory, R&D lab, office or leisure uses all make the most of these excellent buildings. With installation of a few walls and a mezzanine floor, a configuration and specification can be fitted to suit any occupier. This flexibility has been taken further with September 2020’s use class update allowing the E category to relax the planning constraints that previously dictated the occupation of these spaces. Overall there has never been a better place to be than an industrial unit.

In all of this good news there is only one catch. Finding space! We have seen that in recent times demand has far outstripped the supply and with little new space being built it is a constant challenge. Stratton Creber Commercial have recently been involved in a project that has seen over 30 units sold prior to construction with another phase planned for next year. However, this spate of activity will not match the overall need.

As a result we are actively looking for industrial spaces in the Exeter, Teignbridge and Torbay areas which could be suitable for assignment, sublease or a new tenant. With a large number of parties waiting for suitable accommodation now is a great time to dispose of unwanted space. If you are interested to whether your lease or property could be suitable for marketing contact Andrew Hosking or Tom Churchward of Stratton Creber Commercial’s Exeter office to discuss your situation. Office Number (01392) 202203