When the Welsh Government exchanged contracts with Virtuous Circle Developments on a pioneering 4.5 acre site at Parc Colliery Coed Ely, it did more than help give birth to a multi-let industrial scheme that will deliver 70,000 sqft of game-changing flexible logistics and light industrial space.
This meeting of minds, formalised in early December, brings together the government vision for a small but ambitious nation – and the unique capabilities of an enterprise that is truly one of a kind: the only development company in Wales combining both a world-class Design & Build pedigree and the peerless green credentials needed to help drive Wales’ transformation to a decarbonised infrastructure fit for the race to zero.
With a fast-expanding operation in South East Wales (having recently completed development and sale of the £1.35m Briscombe Retail Park in Barry), it’s clear that Virtuous Circle Developments (VCD) is about to make a significant contribution to helping create a connected, cohesive and sustainable Cardiff Capital Region – and we caught up with the refreshingly open VCD senior management team to discuss their plans and discover how they view the development horizon for Wales and the world .
“A new type of development company for the new Wales that’s being built”
“We’re a new type of development company for the new Wales that’s being built”, says Cardiff-born Edward Batten, Director of VCD. “We’re not ‘just’ real estate developers with a proven international track record. We bring together best-in-class asset management, development, build and investment services – and a long-term commitment to building our business here in Wales. So we’re a development partner who can be trusted to deliver the right solutions for all stakeholders – meeting the requirements of modern-day businesses, creating opportunities for the communities they serve and being a good custodian of the environment we all live in.”
“Our Colliery Business Park development in Llantrisant represents a real ‘First’ here in Wales” emphasises Ed. “It will offer occupiers unparalleled levels of specification and encapsulates our whole philosophy to providing a flexible approach that meets all needs – with an ahead-of-the-curve design that guarantees robust connectivity, shaped to provide occupiers with a best-in-class trade and distribution environment, offering a speed to market that supports business growth while leveraging the Park’s accessible location to the absolute max.”
“A milestone and a landmark with the green revolution built-in”
“Our detailed planning application for collierybusinesspark.co.uk is ready for submission in January 2022, with a programmed project completion and handover in Q3” confirms Ed. ” The units are to be delivered to a BREEAM excellent certification, ranging from 1,250 sgft to 30,000 sgft – with the green revolution already built-in. Our GWYRDD initiative for building and design incorporates environmentally sustainable features such as 15% roof lights that lower energy use and increase cost efficiency. With the units also benefiting from eight metre clear internal heights, open span floor plates, long loading yards and ultra modern offices, the Park offers the very best logistics and light industrial accommodation in the market. It’s a real milestone and an impressive green landmark that the region can be proud of.”
“We’re an example of CCR’s ambitions for investable propositions and greater GVA”
This multi-let industrial scheme may well be the shape of things to come here in Wales; but for Timothy Bailey,Director of VCD, the company’s growing footprint and expanding presence is more than just a series of physical landmarks. “In some ways we’re a living example of CCR’s ambition to both create an investable proposition and nurture greater GVA” says Aberdeen-born Tim “because as a team we built our past successes overseas, before becoming attracted to the undoubted spirit of this region – and hooked on the idea of living here too. I’ve spent a major part of my working life in the Oil & Gas industry, both in Scotland and the UAE; but it didn’t take much for Ed to ‘sell’ me on the benefits of locating in his home country.
“This part of the world has a magnificent capital city, beautiful countryside and a stunning coastline, with all the potential to become an economic powerhouse capable of punching far above its weight. Creating infrastructure that connects and embedding logistics that join up – in the most sustainable way – will be key to achieving that full potential. And helping attain all that is possible by building a cohesive, connected region full of future-proofed competitive advantages is why VCD is here.”