Factory axe could mean opportunity for a new venture
THE closure of a Swansea factory is likely to see a major chunk of production and warehouse space being returned to the commercial property market.
Household goods giant Unilever is planning to close its Alberto Culver plant in Swansea by the end of next year with the loss of around 225 jobs.
The company is looking to create a multi-functional hub at Port Sunlight in the North West.
The closure of the site in Swansea's Enterprise Park would free up around 300,000 sq ft of production and warehouse space.
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The latest research from real estate services firm DTZ has revealed there were no lettings above 50,000 sq ft in Wales in the whole of the second quarter of this year.
DTZ found interest in smaller units is robust but demand for larger units is restricted due to a lack of suitable availability.
Rob Ladd, director of industrial agency at DTZ in Cardiff, said: "Whilst the number of deals at the smaller end of the property market continues, the lack of larger grade A stock in Wales meant that no industrial transactions were reported over 50,000 sq ft in the Principality in the last quarter.
"Many large occupiers are fairly 'foot loose' and are willing to consider properties anywhere in the UK.
"However since the old Welsh Development Agency stopped building large units speculatively, Wales has suffered from a lack of good quality industrial properties which will enable the region to attract larger inquiries and is reflected in these latest figures."
Earlier this year Swansea Council deputy leader Christine Richards said the local authority would support Alberto Culver staff and attempt to find them alternative employment.