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Novartis deal revives Blackwater Valley office market.

October 2011

What is thought to be the largest office transaction in the M3 corridor for three years was recently announced with the letting of 64,000 sq ft at Watchmoor Park in Camberley to Novartis.

Property Week magazine revealed that F&C Reit Commercial Property Trust Limited has secured a letting to the international pharmaceuticals giant on Block C at the business park (featured in the may issue of The Bottom Line).

The property is rumoured to being taken on a ten year lease at at a rent thought to be around £850,000 per annum (approximately £18 per sq ft).

In a statement Novartis said that it had signed a lease for an office at Watchmoor Park, expanding its presence in the Frimley area.

"Associates from other offices will move to the site from March 2012, including some currently at Frimley Business Park, where any space freed up will be used to ease current overcrowding.

"This is part of the company's ongoing efforts to align resources to better respond to patients and customers in a challenging healthcare marketplace."

Robert Thain of Vantage Asset Management, who advises Watchmoor Estates Ltd, said: "This transaction is good news for Watchmoor Park, good news for Camberley and good news for the Blackwater Valley. It cements Watchmoor Park's position as the area's premier business park and will bring a boost to the local economy."

Nick Reeve of local agent Wadham and Isherwood said: "Despite the prevailing economic climate there is a serious shortage of grade A office accommodation in the Blackwater Valley towns and as the local economy begins to emerge from recession, demand for office space is on the increase. As a result Watchmoor Park, which can offer top-quality refurbished space in a mature, landscaped business campus, has become increasingly popular. The letting of space at Watchmoor park to Novartis confirms the underlying strength and resilience of the office market in the area."

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