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UKWA calls for policymakers to back warehouse development

05 October 2015

The call came as the Association unveiled a warehouse census highlighting a 'crucial lack of supply and development'.

UKWA worked with property consultancy Savills to ascertain the current make-up of the UK warehousing sector by analysing data from a number of sources including the Valuation Office, Savills in-house data and other, secondary sources.

UKWA CEO Peter Ward said: "Policy makers must not overlook a fundamental factor for UK logistics to continue to thrive and to feed and clothe our people: the warehouse itself. This report reveals the true scope of the property challenge facing the logistics sector and UK plc.

"We call on policy makers, both nationally and locally, to acknowledge the importance of the logistics industry and to deliver policy which allows for the growth of the space required for our industry to continue delivering."

Kevin Mofid, Head of Industrial research at Savills, added: "The availability of modern and fit for purpose warehouse space has the potential to be a real pinch point for the logistics industry in the coming years. Whilst this initial white paper doesn’t quantify the amount of allocated land in pipeline many schemes that we are tracking are not necessarily deliverable in the short term.


"This paper will help frame the debate on the importance of logistics real estate to the logistics industry, and the vitality of the UK economy moving forward." 

Key facts include:

• The UK has a total of 424 million square feet of warehousing space.

• Supply of warehouses in the UK is currently 32 million sq ft.

• Vacancy rate of 7.5%. However, the true vacancy rate is even smaller as Savills classifies 6.5 million square feet as grade C stock, which may never be occupied again as a warehouse due to not being fit-for-purpose for today’s logistics requirements.

• 51% of take up has been for Build to Suit units.

• The East Midlands has the highest amount of space, accounting for 18%.

The size and make up of the UK Warehousing Sector report can be downloaded here.