Airlink were one of the first companies to test, try and purchase a ZipBox website.
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NovaLoca spoke to Airlink's Property and Finance Director, Brian Gifford, back in 2015 to see how business was going
What has business been like for Airlink in 2015?
“Business has been excellent this year. For the last 18 months we have seen a real growth in enquiries across our entire commercial property portfolio. 2015 has seen the launch of Airlink Business Centres alongside Storage Vaults with a brand new 180,000 sq ft centre which is now open.”
Have Airlink Group seen any trends emerging in the Glasgow market this year?
“Generally, the level of enquiries and occupancies are on the rise. We have reached the point where we are turning away business due to a lack of available space which is a good problem to have but is of course slightly frustrating at times.” Airlink are currently in acquisition mode for industrial estate style properties. If this is of interest, please get in touch.
Airlink have found that with their smaller units, businesses are driving for flexibility in length of term. They currently have a site where some tenants have been on month to month arrangements and have stayed with them for over 20 years. This allows Airlink to be confident in providing them with a short term, rolling solution which suits their clients better.
Brian said, “We have found that as long as you maintain a quality product and service, your tenants will remain loyal.”
How would you rate the overall situation of the commercial property market in Glasgow at the moment?
Brian described the market as “buoyant at present.” Demand appears to be up across the boards yet there are still opportunities arising for those who are well funded. He described the banks to “be back at the table and looking for business, although of course their credit departments are far more stringent than in the past. However with the right deal at the right price, even these additional hurdles can be overcome.”
Are there any projects or developments that Airlink are particularly excited about at the moment?
Airlink are very close to completing the refurbishment of an 180,000 square foot property that has been empty for the best part of a decade. Brian said, “With close access to the M8 and Paisley Gilmour Street train station, 100mb superfast broadband, offices, storage, meetings rooms and many other facilities we are aiming to provide a high quality facility.”
Are there any particular types of occupiers and businesses that are being attracted to Glasgow as a business destination?
From Airlink’s experience, many logistics companies are attracted to their sites in Glasgow “due to their general proximity to the major motorways and road arteries.” They have also found that “office and commercial uptake in the city has increased significantly from this time last year as companies can now move forward with certainty about the future.”
Brian believes that the recent independence referendum put a lot of business plans on hold; however more of these plans are now being put into action.
What are the benefits for businesses who are considering relocating to Glasgow?
Glasgow is a bustling, thriving, cosmopolitan city that has seen large amounts of investment in the lead up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is continuing today. There are opportunities for small start-up businesses to get their first step on the ladder and also for larger, established businesses to find property space in order to continue growing.
Brian describes the current workforce as “technically skilled and dedicated, at the cutting edge of technology”. He believes there is a great benefit for “any business aiming to move to Scotland’s largest city.” Glasgow also has a “pro business council who understand economic regeneration as well as a first class chamber of commerce who are always there to help businesses large and small.”
In terms of the social aspects of Glasgow, Brian said, “We also have access to some of the world’s best golf courses, excellent shopping and an incredible night life so when the working day is over there are plenty of ways to enjoy oneself in Glasgow.”
What do you hope that the rest of 2015 will bring for Airlink?
The major aim at present for Airlink is to complete the redevelopment of their new business centre and open up the office facilities to the project. They have a “show office” complete and “a reasonable amount of interest to date”. However, with 30 or so offices available they are looking forward to opening and pushing hard to get the building completely filled.
Beyond that, Airlink are on the acquisition trail across Scotland and are currently looking at a number of property opportunities that they hope will kick off in 2016.