Developer set to expand market

HUNTINGDON-based commercial developer and house-builder Artisan (UK) plc is set to increase its borrowing to take advantage of renewed buoyancy in the market for new homes and premises. Chief executive Chris Musselle, pictured, said a number of further de

HUNTINGDON-based commercial developer and house-builder Artisan (UK) plc is set to increase its borrowing to take advantage of renewed buoyancy in the market for new homes and premises.

Chief executive Chris Musselle, pictured, said a number of further deals should be concluded before the £30million-a-year company's year-end on March 31, but it needed to increase its landbank to facilitate growth plans.

"In order to capitalise on the success achieved in the commercial business and reasonably buoyant local market conditions, the board has decided to commit further investment to increasing its trading activities," a spokesman said.

The company said discussions with bankers on extending the existing £20million loan facility were progressing well.


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Around one-third of the firm's commercial development was in Huntingdonshire, Mr Musselle told The Hunts Post. It included Vantage Park, off the A141 in north-west Huntingdon, which was now almost half complete, and the 26.5-acres Colmworth business park in St Neots.

It is also developing business parks in Peterborough and St Albans, and was responsible for Clare Hall, on the St Ives by-pass, and Cardinal and Chord business parks in Godmanchester.

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It offers design-and-build contracts with clients having the choice of leasehold tenancies or freehold purchases. "We are relatively unusual in offering that choice," Mr Musselle said.

The housebuilding business, Rippon Homes, operates primarily in the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

* TWO companies have already agreed leases on a 20,000 sq ft trade park being developed at the Colmworth Business Park in St Neots, for which planning consent was granted last year.

Opps Tiles is to take a lease of 5,000 sq ft, and Just Tyres will occupy a further 2,500 sq ft.

The remaining land is being offered by Huntingdon-based agents Barker, Storey, Matthews in 2,500 sq ft chunks.

Work on the development is scheduled for completion by August.

CONTACT: Alan Matthews at Barker, Storey, Matthews on 01480 451578.

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