June 29, 2015
In Kent’s largest office letting so far this year Travel Insurance Facilities Group (TIF) is moving its headquarters to Liberty Property Trust’s Kings Hill development near Maidstone.
The company, a specialist travel insurance full lifecycle service provider, has taken the top floor of 17,110 sq ft in 1 Tower View, one of the most prestigious office buildings in Kings Hill.
TIF was founded in 1996 and has seen its employee numbers almost double in the last three years. It currently employs 140, and moved to Kings Hill in order to expand its operation.
Richard Smith, managing director at TIF, said: “TIF has seen over 800% growth in the last six years and has significant plans for growth as part of its five year strategy plan. Kings Hill was an obvious choice for us as it is a great location, has excellent transport links and an expansive catchment area for the additional recruitment we will need in order to sustain our continued growth.”
The company will move in at the end of August.
This deal brings the total office space let in Kings Hill so far this year to 45,000 sq ft, demonstrating that the business park remains one of the most popular locations in the south east. This represents 35% of the first half of the year’s deals in the south east quadrant of the M25, excluding Croydon. (source: Knight Frank).
Recent research by CBRE shows that 23% (over 200,000 sq ft) of Kings Hill is dedicated to amenities which is unparalleled in any business park anywhere else in the country. The next nearest has 13% and most have none.
These amenities include an 18 hole golf course, Waitrose and Asda stores plus other convenience retail, two schools with a third opening this September, Sports Park, cricket pitch and two gyms including David Lloyd, acres of woodland and open space and miles of foot and cycle paths.
Other recent property transactions in Kings Hill include half (18,000 sq ft) of a newly refurbished office building to Cancer Partners UK for a state-of-the-art private treatment centre; half a wing (4,582 sq ft) of another for UBM Shared Services Ltd which is moving from serviced offices in Kings Hill and a further 5,000 sq ft to a national housebuilding company.
“The improving economic climate is resulting in strong uptake at Kings Hill which continues to attract businesses to the South East and Kent because of the quality of the property solutions it provides, its amenities and doorstep pool of labour,” said Andrew Blevins, managing director of Liberty Property Trust, which is developing Kings Hill with Kent County Council.
“Kings Hill is more than a business park – it is a 24 hour live, work and play community which provides a high quality of life with jobs, amenities, homes, schools and other community infrastructure all within walking distance.”
Hanover Green, Altus Edwin Hill, and Knight Frank act for Liberty.
There are around 200 businesses on site employing some 5,000 people and, with approximately 8,000 residents at Kings Hill too, there is a ready workforce on the doorstep.
Planning has been granted and conditions are being finalised on the next phase of Kings Hill’s residential development and work should start later this year. This will see the delivery of 635 much needed homes including affordable, a new primary school – the third at Kings Hill – an extension to the community centre, additional allotments, trim trails and sports pitches for Kings Hill Sports Park. Land will also be provided for the development of a place of worship.
Employment land remains for more commercial development and the creation of a further 3,000 jobs.
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