The lack of high-quality industrial and distribution accommodation in the Surrey and Hampshire border area is continuing to put upward pressure on the rent businesses are paying, say experts.

“With supply trailing behind demand throughout the Blackwater Valley and along the A31 corridor, rental levels have been rising for some time and recent market activity suggests that further increases can be expected,” said Nick Reeve of Curchod & Co in Farnham.

He added units with high energy ratings and sustainability features are particularly in demand – underlined by a recent transaction on a 35,000 sq ft property at the northern end of the Blackwater Valley, in Camberley, close to Junction 4 of the M3 motorway.

The letting followed a comprehensive refurbishment focused on improving energy efficiency, and achieved a rent of £16.50 per square foot.

Other significant transactions in the area include a double letting at Quantum Park in Church Crookham. Cancer Research UK has taken the two industrial properties, totalling 23,021 square feet, on a ten-year lease.

The industrial market in Bordon is also seeing notable activity with the news that Asmodee UK, the games distribution business, is taking occupation of its new 134,000 sq ft head office and distribution centre in Bordon.

The state-of-the-art facility will see a consolidation of the firm’s operations, previously spread across multiple locations, including Alton.

When construction work began in late 2021 the Herald reported the property would provide accommodation for over 130 members of staff.

Major relocations, such as Asmodee UK’s, are good news for the local market, as they often free up smaller properties that will allow other businesses to grow.

At the same time, it encourages landlords and developers to invest in upgrades and refurbishments.

Talking about properties being upgraded, on the Farnham Trading Estate, 15,000 sq ft property opposite Sainsbury's Water Lane Superstore, formerly occupied by M&J Seafoods, is undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment and is currently receiving new cladding, new loading doors and a modernisation of the office space.

At the smaller end of the market, a new development at Headley Wood Business Park, in Bordon, will provide five new industrial and warehouse units, ranging from 1,076 to 5,380 sq ft, set to be ready for occupation in April. 

The development will provide the first new build units of this size range in the area for many years and expected rental levels will be around £2 per sq ft higher than seen previously.