Property solutions to help businesses grow

Author

William McCulla, Director of Property Solutions
Invest NI
Aug 31, 2016

Are you considering building your own office/factory or moving to a new location? Here’s how Invest NI can help.

Invest Northern Ireland has a comprehensive database of both private and public sector commercial properties. We also own land and business parks in strategic locations across Northern Ireland.

Looking to build?

Find out those areas where Invest NI owns industrial/business estates/parks.

Northern Ireland

We own these sites because there has been a shortage of commercial land available in that area, and because the private sector is not always willing to develop industrial land due to the high cost of creating the necessary infrastructure that makes up a modern business park. By doing this we are making it easier for businesses interested in locating in these areas to build their own factories specific to their individual needs.

We have prepared the sites within these parks for development by securing outline planning permission for industrial development and ensuring there is access to the main services (power, water and waste). By doing this we have removed the first hurdle for any business looking to build. This also reduces the risk of not getting planning permission for an industrial build.

What next?

For businesses interested in building on one of our sites, first you need to contact us through your Invest NI Client Executive to discuss your plans. At this stage you need to tell us the following:

  • The nature and location of your business
  • Why you need to build a new factory
  • What size of a site you need, and where

We will then meet with you to talk about your project and make sure this is the right step for your business.

If building is the right step, and our land is suitable, then you will need to do the following:

  • Think carefully as to what you need in terms of factory space and an architect will then be able to draw up your plans; these plans will be the basis for all future discussions with Invest NI and other statutory bodies such as the planning authority. This will also determine how much land will be needed and will help with budgeting.
  • Consider when the factory will be needed. It can easily take two years or more from first concept to becoming operational in a new facility. You will need to apply for and receive planning permission as well as arranging funding to buy the land and build your new facility.

We have significant experience in selling sites and factories and are here to help where we can, providing suggestions and guidance along the way. However, you will need your own professional team to take you through all of the elements of property development that have not been part of your normal day to day business; this can be a stressful process.

In some cases, we may be able to help you with a grant towards your build. This will be discussed with you when we meet to talk about your project.

Moving to a new office

If you are interested in moving to a new office Invest NI can help with your search. We maintain an extensive database of available commercial properties across Northern Ireland which includes office accommodation. If you would like some help with finding new premises, you can contact us on 028 9069 8282.

Is owning land a good use of public money?

Invest NI will only take the decision to develop land or a business park if there is clear market failure, i.e. the private sector is not willing to do it and there is a definite business need. We hold and develop property to support, and provide a balanced spread of, economic development opportunities across Northern Ireland. By doing so we are supporting and enabling businesses to grow innovation, exports, productivity, and employment.

Developing a business park, and selling all the available sites can take anything up to 15 years. This is normal. For example, one of our predecessors, the Industrial Development Board (IDB), started developing Carnbane Business Park in Newry in 1999 and this represented the third major development by IDB in the Carnbane area of Newry. Invest NI continued to develop the Business Park in what has been proven to be a highly successful business area and has recently further extended it due to business need. Carnbane Business Park now houses many local businesses including MJM Marine, Hill Engineering and CCL Services. Ultimately, if our land/parks are surplus to requirements, we will dispose of them on the open market.

Over the past 14 years, since Invest NI’s creation, we have sold over 270 sites and 12 buildings. As a result of Invest NI’s intervention in the property market many millions have been invested in the economy by those companies that have grown and developed their businesses on Invest NI property.

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SITE FACILITIES

All sites should have a high-speed broadband/fibre broadband link to support modern business.
Steven Chambers
31/08/2016 09:45

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