ABP invests in major port expansion

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ABP unlocks a 200+ acre development opportunity at the UK’s busiest ports complex

Pictured left to right, Rob Morton, Lead Property Asset Manager (ABP), Greg Lacey, Head of Property (ABP), Simon Bird, Regional Director (ABP), Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader (NELC), Damien Jaines-White, Assistant Director of Regeneration (NELC), and Keith Thompson, Lead Solicitor (NELC)

Associated British Ports (ABP) has exchanged contracts on the purchase of the freehold of a 227.5-acre site known as Stallingborough Interchange signalling a further commitment to the port operator’s new property strategy.

The prominent site is earmarked for commercial port opportunities including automotive, bulk warehousing, distribution and logistics uses, advanced manufacturing, as well as green energy initiatives.

In a prime strategic location next to the A180 and located two miles from the Port of Immingham and six miles from the Port of Grimsby, the designated employment site is one of the largest of the original Enterprise Zones in the area and is key to future proofing the continued growth of ABP’s commercial business on the Humber.

Simon Bird, Regional Director of the Humber said: “This is an important milestone in the future growth of the Humber ports. It demonstrates the need for strategic investment in land to facilitate the continued growth of ABP and to maintain the Humber ports leading position in the UK, as well as significant investment in the region for jobs.

“As demand is expected to increase for energy generation, automotive storage, bulk warehousing, and storage and distribution uses our space constraints within our ports will increase. This additional land will ensure the delivery of state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilities, and technological innovation for new and existing customers.”

Greg Lacey, Head of Property - Humber, ABP said: “It’s always a challenge to bring forward a site of such significant scale and I’d like to personally thank NELC for all the investment in time and costs to get it to this stage. We now pick up the baton to bring to fruition our shared ambition to create a major UK port logistics development.

“This is a unique opportunity, assembled by ABP working collaboratively with NELC and three other landowners. The site is the largest development land parcel in such proximity to the ports, and of significant scale versus wider opportunities in the Yorkshire region. It is unlikely any opportunity of the same size will be coming to the market for some time. The sizeable investment we have made in this shows ABP is a key player in supporting the growth of commercial activities within the region.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of the Council, said: “The sale has realised the opportunity to see development accelerated at Pioneer Business Park at a pace and is likely to bring with it a variety of benefits, including additional investment, facilities, and jobs locally.

“I’d like to thank ABP for coming to the table with the proposals, and for creating what will be one of the biggest single developments in the area in recent times.”

Damien Jaines-White, Assistant Director for Regeneration at North East Lincolnshire Council said: “We have worked incredibly hard to bring this sale forward, to drive the economic aspirations of our area. Our innovative South Humber Industrial Investment Programme has proven to be a real driver to attracting investment in North East Lincolnshire, in particular our award-winning ecological mitigation sites which have been cited as a key reason for developers choosing NEL as a place to locate. Our experienced Economic Development team are working closely with potential investors across all sectors.”

The site has been allocated in the local plan for employment use since 2013. Also referred to as Pioneer Business Park (PBP), it has traditionally been used as agricultural farmland and is strategically positioned directly adjacent to the A180 dual carriageway, leading to Grimsby and local motorway networks. The site is also connected to the Humber Link Road, the new port connection road built in 2021 that links Immingham and Grimsby. 

PBP is a strand of the South Humber Industrial Investment Programme (SHIIP) which has so far seen the Myenergi development and HETA facilities created on the site, with other opportunities in the pipeline.

It already benefits from outline planning consent secured by NELC for up to 1.3m sq. ft of B1 (Business), B2 (General Industrial) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) which was approved in 2018. Given the emerging demand in the automotive sector from new entrants and drivers converting to electric vehicles (EV), ABP in early 2024 plans to submit an outline planning application for up to 80 acres of automotive logistics on the site.

Peter Mason and Elizabeth Cook at Addleshaw Goddard LLP acted on behalf of ABP and Kassra Powles, Ayesha Khalique and Louise Hunt of Browne Jacobson LLP acted on behalf of NELC.

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