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Fasset to turn spare manufacturing space into new uses

04 November 2008

Fasset has been appointed to transform Bookham Technologies’ manufacturing site near Northampton into a leading science and technology park

Awarded a third high-profile contract by a corporate occupier, Fasset will make surplus space pay its way at Bookham Technologies’ 22-acre site near Northampton, Northamptonshire, by creating a science and technology park. The site, two miles from Towcester and near the M1, covers 170,000 sq ft of mixed office, manufacturing and laboratories space. It will be rebranded Caswell Science & Technology Park. Similar to the manufacturing history of other Fasset-operated locations, the owner was left with thousands of square feet of expensive vacant space to pay for in rates and utility bills after offshoring and restructuring.

Currently there are 120 Bookham Technologies staff on the 170,000 sq ft site; the buildings were originally designed to accommodate more than 800 people. The global provider of hi-tech optical solutions has tasked Fasset with managing an initial 43,000 sq ft.

Chris Allington, Fasset’s joint managing director, said: “This is another significant contract win for Fasset as we continue towards our target of managing five million square feet on behalf of corporate occupiers.
The professional stature of Bookham Technologies Plc, a global manufacturer and provider of optical solutions, stands testament to the quality of Fasset’s business plan for Caswell and our demonstrable track record in delivering added value for other large corporates burdened with costly surplus space.

"We are confident of exceeding Bookham Technologies’ already high expectations by consistently delivering savings on facilities management and, in tandem, transforming vacant space into income-generating business hubs similar to the successful ones at Langstone and Hersham. The message is loud and clear to corporates left with surplus space no longer fit for original purpose – Fasset can help them identify significant cost savings and productivity improvements through an integrated property and facilities management strategy.”

Bookham Technologies’ Steve Reilly, Vice President Operations, Caswell, said: “We are impressed by the way Fasset turns surplus manufacturing space into revenue streams. The company’s expertise in facilities management is also a major draw. It means our under-utilised site can grow into a regional technology park while we are freed up to concentrate on core activities.”

As managing agent, Fasset will oversee the facilities management supply chain, which is provided by a third party. As letting agent, Fasset will manage the marketing and sub-letting to tenants of vacant space.
The first phase involves delivering general savings, as well as securing lettings on Grade II-listed Caswell House, which dates back to 1840. Caswell House has 16 ready-to-use serviced offices, with 30 workstations, spread over nearly 3,000 sq ft. The county house atmosphere will appeal to the professional services in particular, such as solicitors and accountants.

A further 4,300 sq ft at the adjacent Stable Block, also a Grade II-listed building, will be given over to fully managed offices. Two standalone units, 6,100 sq ft each, will also be marketed. In time Fasset will also be letting 22,000 sq ft of wet and dry laboratory space – believed to be the only ones of their kind in a 40-mile radius.

The value of the Fasset contract is not being disclosed, nor are terms and conditions. Bookham Technologies has two facilities in the UK – one at Caswell and the second at Paignton in Devon. Other facilities are located in the USA, Canada, Switzerland and China.

Fasset, headquartered at Langstone Technology Park near Portsmouth, derives income from managing flexible property portfolios and receiving a percentage of the occupancy savings they deliver to the client.
With Caswell, the business and property solutions specialist now manages nearly 1.5 million square feet of facilities and business space for 30 companies employing nearly 6,000 people between them in Northamptonshire, Hampshire and Surrey. Fasset’s two other business parks are at 45-acre Langstone Technology Park, a former IBM manufacturing facility near Portsmouth, and 10-acre Hersham Place Technology Park near London, where the European head office of site owner Air Products, another multi-national, is based.

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