Founded in 1854, Hardy UK designs and manufactures precision blades for the global leather industry, with 95 per cent of sales being exports. In 2015, Hardy UK was acquired by renowned Sheffield knife maker, Arkote.
Currently located on Fernhill Road in Bootle, the company’s employees are scheduled to relocate to MerseyReach by August 2020. Hardy UK estimates the new facility will ultimately increase production capacity and open employment opportunities in both production and administration positions.
Phase one of MerseyReach comprises four units totalling 112,500 sq ft and the second phase totals 90,000 sq ft. Once finished, the site on Dunnings Bridge Road will create up to 350 jobs and is estimated to have a £5.5m positive impact on the area.
Following a £7.85m contract awarded to the Warrington office of Caddick Construction, work on the first phase started in December last year. The development is scheduled to complete this August.
Another of the four units in phase one has already been pre-let to builders merchants Selco Builders Warehouse. The remaining two units are 12,035 sq ft and 42,518 sq ft. A two-acre plot on the site will also be developed into a fuel station, drive-through Starbucks and Spar retail store by Blackburn-based Euro Garages.
Situated on a 13.5-acre site, the logistics park is strategically located on a prominent gateway route into the new Liverpool SuperPort, with fast access to the M57 and M58.
Commenting on the lease, Hardy UK managing director, Peter Oxspring, said: “During the 2015 takeover the board identified early on that, in order to sustain and then grow Hardy UK as the largest blade manufacturer in the leather industry, a relocation of premises would be essential.
“Having considered many options with the help of the team at Mathews & Goodman, both within the area and further afield, Chancerygate made a compelling offer and we were ultimately convinced that MerseyReach would be the right place to call home for the next phase of the development of Hardy UK.”
MerseyReach is being developed by the Warrington office of industrial developer and asset manager Chancerygate. The company operates nationwide and currently has up to 2.6 million sq ft of industrial space under construction or ready for development across 24 sites ranging from Bournemouth in Dorset to Livingston, West Lothian. Chancerygate also has offices in London, Birmingham and Milton Keynes.
Chancerygate development director and head of the company’s Warrington office, Mike Walker, added: “It is excellent to welcome a long-established local business such as Hardy UK to MerseyReach. This is North Liverpool’s first new, multi-unit logistics park to be built for years. We are pleased to work closely with Sefton Council and other stakeholders to bring more business, jobs and other opportunities to the area.”
MerseyReach and Hardy UK are supported by Sefton Council’s business growth team, InvestSefton, and employment and training opportunities will be given to nearby residents through the Sefton@Work programme.
Councillor Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “We are delighted with the training and employment opportunities the new MerseyReach development will bring our residents. It is an exciting time for the borough, with new developments and investment that will benefit everyone across Sefton.”
The development is also supported by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and The Chrysalis Fund, which finances property, regeneration and sustainability projects throughout the region.
Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle, added: “The MerseyReach development represents great news for the area and we are delighted that Chancerygate has recognised the potential of the location. Thanks to the close partnership working between Chancerygate and Sefton Council, MerseyReach will create new job and training opportunities for local residents, including people who are looking for work.”
Hardy UK was advised on the transaction by commercial property consultants Matthews & Goodman. CBRE and B8 Real Estate are joint agents for MerseyReach.