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Whilst Aston Martin Ponders Coventry, Is It All Quiet On The West Midlands Front?

Forza Horizon 3 / Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin's plans to revive James Bond's favoured car, the legendary Lagonda, could mean a big boost for West Midlands manufacturing with the Aston Martin plant at Gaydon scooping up the business — and the neighbouring region benefitting from the supply chain.

Gaydon has first to overcome competition from St Athans, Aston Martin's South Wales base. St Athans has already been slated for production of the new DBX prototypes ahead of 2019 launch. The former Ministry of Defence site in South Wales could be serious competition for Gaydon, as it has been in the past: in 2016 the famous marque moved to St Athans after failing to find a Midlands location with the right financial profile.

The possibility of further auto-sector manufacturing interest in the West Midlands comes as the manufacturers take a break from the region's big shed sector.

Gerald Eve's Q1 data shows manufacturers — who dominated U.K. Big Box logistics in 2017 — sliding back. Manufacturers accounted for 34% of all activity during 2017. However, in Q1, this fell substantially to only 16%, Gerald Eve's Prime Logistics bulletin said.

Meanwhile the North and the East Midlands dominated the quarter's speculative building activity, with the West Midlands trailing fourth, behind London, with just under 1M SF under construction.

However, the report concludes that the low rate of voids and vacancies in the West Midlands will drive rental growth in the region, which they predicted will reach 2.75%, second only to rental growth in London.

Overall Q1 take-up increased 20% to 11.5M SF, 5% above the five year average.