Wholesale changes at Nottingham’s fruit and veg market

  • From left, Nick Arnold, Sara Batchelor, Jonathan Hodgson, Giles Davis and Greg Hunt at the Wholesale District.  
  • From Left Greg Hunt, Sara Batchelor, Nick Arnold, Jonathan Hodgson and Giles Davis At the Wholesale District. 

NOTTINGHAM’S fruit and vegetable market has been given a new lease of life following significant investment from its landlord.

Work began on upgrading the estate – now known as the Wholesale District – in January this year to modernise the facilities and reduce occupational costs as part of the bid to attract new tenants.

Security systems across the site were overhauled with the installation of new CCTV, automated barriers and intercom systems for each unit, in addition to improvements to traffic management.

Giles Davis, surveyor at Innes England is marketing the remaining units on behalf of the landlord.

He said: “The improvements at the newly branded Wholesale District have been really successful and we managed to secure three new tenants even before they were completed – and have received serious interest on two further units since then.

“Not only that but two of the existing tenants have expressed interest in expanding their presence, which is testament to the overall project – as well as the fact that the industrial market in the East Midlands generally is taking a turn for the better.

“This is a very well placed industrial park, with a range of unit sizes suitable for smaller start-up businesses and those larger and more established firms alike.”

A variety of units are available at the Wholesale District,  which neighbours the Notts County football stadium, ranging in size from 884 sq ft to 1,800 sq ft with the option to take units individually or combined to create the desired size. Existing tenants include Plumbline, Total Produce, RM Flowers and Totally Brewed.

Jonathan Hodgson of Howlings Hodgson was appointed by the landlord as the asset manager for the site. He said: “This estate was a typical example of many fruit and vegetable markets across the country in that the cost of providing the services essential to its existence had become disproportionately high, even higher than the rents.

“This made the estate quite uncompetitive, which was deterring new occupiers from coming to the site and existing ones from staying. It would have been easy to see the market close and let the units to traditional industrial occupiers, but this would have been a tragedy as there is a thriving market here in Nottingham.

“If the service cost imbalance could be corrected then the market should recover and its future would be secured. This required a substantial change in working practice on site, capital investment and trust from all sides so credit must go to both the landlord and the tenants for working together and delivering the new regime.

“The service charge has now reduced by a factor of four allowing all the existing occupiers to renew their leases and some have even taken more space – quite a turnaround. New occupiers have also come to the estate which confirms the market is competitive in the wider property world.”

The addition of a new recycling facility as part of the landlord’s investment has also improved the site for tenants, who are now recycling double the volume of waste they did previously – up to 20 tonnes of cardboard per week.

Sara Batchelor, a representative of the landlord, said: “We are delighted with the turnaround we have seen at the Wholesale District, which is a testament to how hard the management team and the tenants have worked to transform the park.

“Given the improvements we have seen to date, we are hopeful that the last remaining units will let quickly to further improve the vibrant tenant mix on this bustling industrial estate”