Massive Glasgow property deal for wholesaler JW Filshill

Food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill is to relocate to a new distribution centre near Glasgow Airport, marking Scotland’s largest industrial pre-let deal in five years.

Craig Semple, associate director of Avison Young; Derek Mackay, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West; Simon Hannah, managing director of JW Filshill; and Andrew McCracken, director of JLL. Picture: Contributed

The deal, which is subject to planning consent, will see a vast 120,400 square feet distribution centre developed for Filshill, incorporating some 10,000 sq ft of office space for the company’s head office functions.

The development process is likely to take 18 months to complete.

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Planning permission has been sought from Renfrewshire Council for the development of a 6.7-acre site on the south side of Westway Park.

Filshill, which has a turnover on track to hit more than £155 million this year, supplies 185 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England. It now has some 1,400 delivered goods customers, including several national accounts such as the Scottish Prison Service and ferry operator CalMac.

The firm said growth had been fuelled by development of its core delivered wholesale business coupled with expansion of its craft beers and spirits business and international division.

Managing director Simon Hannah brushed aside Brexit concerns, saying the move would future-proof the business, secure employment and improve efficiencies.

He said: “We can’t hold off waiting for Brexit. We need to get ready for the next phase of group growth, keep ourselves relevant to the ever-changing market, ensure job security for our staff and continuously improve on providing service excellence to our customers – that’s all hugely important to us.

“Westway is an outstanding location for us, less than three miles from our current premises at Hillington and next to Glasgow Airport which will become increasingly important as we develop our international business in the coming years.

“The facility is being built to our exact specification and will provide pallet capacity of 12,000 in a 14-metre high warehouse with 12 loading docks.”

Rob Large, director of Canmoor, a developer and asset manager in the warehouse and business space sectors which secured the deal with Filshill, added: “To have a company of Filshill’s calibre make such a substantial commitment to Westway is a tremendous endorsement, following the significant investment and improvements we have made since purchasing last year.”

Andrew McCracken, director of property firm JLL, who represented Canmoor, said: “The industrial market is now at a stage where requirements such as this can only be accommodated by taking a pro-active, forward-thinking approach, which is what is being done by Canmoor at Westway.

“We have witnessed new degrees of optimism in the Renfrewshire market, with increased demand for space at Westway.”

Craig Semple, associate director of Avison Young, who represented Filshill, added: “Westway offers the perfect location for Filshill and the landlord’s positive approach has enabled this deal to progress smoothly and meet the company’s business needs.”

Westway is located in the heart of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area.