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21 Apr 2022

Deals ramp up at GatewayEast in Doncaster creating more jobs and investment in technology, innovation and logistics

CGI of the Panattoni site at Peel L&P's GatewayEast development, Doncaster


Regeneration business Peel L&P is celebrating a flurry of recent activity welcoming national and international investors to its £1.7bn GatewayEast development in Doncaster, with the completion of two significant sales and several occupiers choosing the location to expand.

Panattoni, the world’s largest industrial developer, finalised contracts to purchase nearly 20 acres to build a 417,570 sq ft building for logistics and manufacturing use adjacent to the recently consented Central Plaza scheme, GatewayEast’s planned new centre for retail, leisure and community use.

The development, called Panattoni Doncaster 420, will be a facility at Peel L&P’s GatewayEast logistics and manufacturing hub near Doncaster Sheffield Airport.  Panattoni has acquired the 18.4 acre site. Panattoni expects to start construction later this year with the intention of delivering the facility in Summer 2023.

Meanwhile, North West-based property investor GC Capital acquired the 47,000 sq ft. Armstrong House office building on First Avenue marking their first major investment in the East of England.

The two-storey building owned by Peel since it first acquired RAF Finningley is currently occupied by a mix of local businesses who will continue to be based at the site. The building provides the perfect base for start-ups and has proven to be a stepping-stone for businesses to locate to GatewayEast before upsizing into other premises elsewhere at the development.

Other recent activity at GatewayEast includes lettings at the Avion development by Trebor Developments. These two lettings, including one to furniture retailer SCS, look set to create around 200 jobs.

Marshall CDP have enjoyed success at their Kestrel Court development, filling the first phase and now starting work on the second phase. Rail services provider Dual Inventive has acquired one of the completed units creating 32 high-quality engineering jobs as part of their continued expansion.

Peel L&P’s newly refurbished permanent office base on site at Heyford House also reaffirms its long-term commitment to the development of GatewayEast.

GatewayEast is South Yorkshire’s largest opportunity for transformational sustainable social and economic growth and includes Doncaster Sheffield Airport as well as direct connections to the M18 by the recently completed Great Yorkshire Way link road.

GatewayEast is set to boost Sheffield City Region’s economy by £6.5bn within 15 years, creating 35,000 jobs across the region and up to 3,000 new homes including a new residential development near Hayfield Green in Auckley.

It provides opportunities for 11 million sq ft of residential and commercial space across five distinct zones covering technology and innovation, advanced manufacturing, logistics, cargo and airside operations. These will all be accompanied by new retail, leisure, and health and wellbeing space within the upcoming Central Plaza development.

Neal Biddle, Development Director for Peel L&P’s GatewayEast said: “These deals are a real sign of momentum for our GatewayEast development and it’s testament to the ambition of our masterplan.  This sustainable, and fully connected development is becoming increasingly more attractive as a location for living and working, with a focus on sustainability, technology, logistics and innovation.

“This recent activity shows that businesses have the confidence in our vision for the area with other developers willing to invest in bringing forward speculative schemes based on high demand which brings a range of employment opportunities and related economic benefits to the area.

“It’s an exciting time for GatewayEast as we see interest in the site increase which in turn helps to deliver a wider masterplan alongside Doncaster Sheffield Airport, with many layered benefits supporting the local and regional economies, and the Government’s Levelling Up priorities.”

Dan Burn, Development Director at Panattoni, said: “This well-located site with direct access to local, regional and global markets is a superb addition to our speculative development programme. South Yorkshire is rapidly forging a reputation as one of the UK’s hottest distribution locations. Record take up across Yorkshire in 2021 has resulted in the supply of units over 100,000 sq ft dipping to the lowest level ever seen”. 

Edward Dry, Acquisition and Asset Manager at GC Capital Limited added:

“We are pleased to have acquired this building in what is an important growth area for the region, with GatewayEast set to grow rapidly over the coming years. Armstrong house is able to deliver short or long term, flexible commitment office space, to suit a wide range of occupiers. With suites for 1 or 2 people from 100sqft to 1,500sqft, that will suit growing companies and satellite offices, among others. So with the growth of the airport and GatewayEast becoming an important commercial hub we aim to be part of the success story.”

More can be found out about GatewayEast here.