St. Modwen secures its first occupier at Firepool, Taunton

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01 February 2011

Burges Salmon have recently advised St Modwen Developments on its first pre-let at Firepool Taunton. Taunton-based waste management business Viridor is to relocate its head office to the £270m Firepool redevelopment scheme in the town.  St Modwen expects to start construction on the 17-acre mixed-use project during the second quarter of 2011.

Pete Davies, development manager for St Modwen, said: “Securing a major national business with UK-wide operations as our first commercial occupier is fantastic news for Firepool and Taunton.”

Gareth Griffith, estate manager for Viridor, said: “The company continues to expand its essential recycling and waste services and is ambitious for further growth.  Moving to new head office accommodation is an important step in meeting the future needs of the business within a top-quality development. It is part of our programme to upgrade support facilities throughout the UK.”

Firepool is the first phase of Project Taunton, a 123-acre regeneration scheme and one of the largest town centre regeneration projects currently under development in the South West. Firepool will be redeveloped on a phased basis and on completion, it will provide about 500,000 sq ft of office space, up to 4,000 new jobs and more than 400 apartments and town houses supported by retail and leisure facilities including cafes, bars and a hotel. Burges Salmon continue to advise St Modwen on the wider redevelopment and planning.

Ian Franklin, project director at Project Taunton, said: “The announcement that Viridor has signed to be the first tenant at Firepool is excellent news for the town and its regeneration. It signals a confidence in Taunton and the beginning of some very significant milestones, over the coming months. For Project Taunton and Firepool in particular the new Station Approach link road is due for completion imminently; the landscaping of the Priory Bridge Road side of the site will start in the spring, as will silt removal from the River Tone which will allow boats to access the river via Firepool Lock.”

Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Councillor John Williams, said: "This really is tremendous news - the vision for Taunton becoming reality - to have achieved such a prominent national company as the first occupier of this important site is a real vote of confidence for our regeneration programme and Taunton as a location for business in the heart of the South West."

Partner David Gidney and Senior Associate Ross Polkinghorne advised St Modwen and they were assisted by trainee Andrew Cammish.

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