Exova Ltd have taken a 10-year lease on a modern unit of 20,818 square feet in Montrose Avenue, completed just three years ago, after Alpha Analytical, the company that originally occupied the premises, ceased trading.
The terms of the deal involve a stepped rental rising to £5.75 per square foot. Exova received significant incentives to reflect their taking on the unit in its existing condition, since they can re-use much of Alpha Analytical’s laboratory, office and storage fit-out.
Exova, which has 110 laboratories in 24 countries, began life 30 years ago at Newbridge, West Lothian, where they still have their office headquarters. But the move to Hillington will make this one of their most important centres of activity.
So delighted are they by the quality of the building and its fittings that they immediately decided to move all 33 of their staff from their current Clydebank premises, and are laying plans for significant expansion over the next few years.
Douglas Weir, the site's general manager, said: "The staff have already visited Hillington and are greatly excited at the prospect of the move, which will take place before the end of March."
"What interested me most was the fact that 40% of the floor space in the building was still void, and would accommodate our expansion ambitions," said Mr Weir. "We plan ultimately to fill the space with additional services, and generate growth for the community. We expect to increase our staff at Hillington by around a third over the next 24 months."
Grant Edmondson, managing director of landlords MEPC Hillington Park, said: "We’re delighted to have attracted a market-leading multi-national company like Exova to Hillington Park.
"We faced a major problem when Alpha Analytical entered liquidation, leaving a large unit with a huge amount of specialist fit-out. But Exova saw the opportunity to expand their operations in the Glasgow area, and we were able to agree a deal which suited both parties."
In 2010, MEPC's operation at Hillington Park managed a remarkably sustained level of business in what has generally been reckoned to be a difficult market. "We concluded 41 new lettings totalling 107,000 sq ft, with a rental value of £639,000," said Mr Edmondson.
"Against that, we had 47 units totalling 126,000 sq ft being vacated through the year as a result of expiries, consolidations and, in particular, insolvencies. So void stock at Hillington has hardly changed, amounting to 5% by area by the year's end."
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