James Crawford, CEO of Mamhilad Park Estate’s owners Johnsey Estates, chatted to Business Argus about new tenants Frog Bikes and plans for the future of the estate...

Why do you believe Frog Bikes chose Mamhilad Park Estate for its new operation? 

We had suitable available space, there are very good transport links and they immediately wanted the space even as they saw it after dark back in about November last year, and loved it from the outset. It is true to say that the accessibility, setting and location of the estate immediately attracted Frog Bikes. Torfaen CBC and Welsh Government were also helpful to Frog Bikes. Mamhilad Park Estate is in a Tier One location for grant purposes. That in itself suggests a good supply of a relatively skilled workforce.

How important is a tenant such as Frog Bikes to Mamhilad Park Estate in raising the profile of the park? 

Very important, although the park does divide itself into the industrial side and the business park which is more about the offices. In the long term we expect the offices to be more important to us, but meanwhile this is a very significant letting.

How will you build on this success to attract other businesses to the location? 

We will use this letting as a blueprint to show what can be done.

How many people do the businesses currently at Mamhilad Park Estate employ? 

I am not sure whether we can be specific but our guess is that up to 1,500 are employed across the site, although most are working in the offices forming the Business Park.

What do you believe is the main attraction of the park and the reason for its burgeoning success over recent months? 

It is a very accessible location, it has lots of open space and free car parking, is a beautifully mature setting and the space offers great value for money.

You’ve made major investment in the offices at the park, what’s next on the agenda for the park? 

The next investments are infrastructure, the gate house, fencing and tarmac and gradual further investment and refurbishment in the offices. We are also developing caravan storage and self-storage.

Peter Downes, of Mamhilad Park Estate, who handled the deal to secure Frog Bikes, said: “We have become quite adept at tailoring deals to occupiers’ specific needs. On this occasion, for instance, for Frog Bikes we have adapted the building to their specification, but also formulated a lease proposal which gave then great value for money, compared to the opposition, which included premises in the EU. The Estate offers them flexibility, with space to grow, but that also meant that we were able to offer them temporary space, to tide them over, until their grant finance was in place, and we could start on the new unit. In other words, Although this is a landlord and tenant relationship, we treat each applicant as an individual customer, and try to make sure they can’t think of a good reason to go elsewhere.”