Shrewsbury Business Park changes hands two decades after first offices were built

Shrewsbury Business Park has changed hands more than 20 years since the first offices were built.

Shrewsbury Business Park
Shrewsbury Business Park

Alaska Property Group, developer of what it calls Shrewsbury’s premier office location, handed over the reins to Redstart Group.

Alan Hay, the founder and managing director of Alaska said, “I had hoped to finish Shrewsbury Business Park, but the pandemic cost us three years of development activity, and as I reached a certain age, I decided it was time to retire.

“I am pleased to announce that I have handed over to the Redstart Group, run by John Gwilliam.

"John and I have known each other ever since Alaska developed the Cineworld Multiplex cinema, and John, through his building company Matrix, was the building contractor on part of that scheme. He has since built many of the buildings on the park and we have established a relationship of trust.”

Alaska has been responsible for many other important local developments in addition to the Cineworld complex over the years, including the B&Q superstore in Harlescott developed in 2012.

It was Alaska that masterminded the relocation of Shrewsbury Town Football Club,

"Shrewsbury Business Park started as a green field and Alaska convinced Shropshire County Council that the site was perfect to establish an office park," Alan said.

"I remember saying to them that without such a venture, the medieval core of Shrewsbury would be under threat. Local companies seeking to expand would not be able to, without endangering listed buildings. The town needed a place to keep those local enterprises and to attract new business, a lung to allow the heart of the town to breathe."

More than 2,000 people work on the business park, with prominent local companies and newcomers like Handelsbanken and New Medica providing jobs for many of the people living in the surrounding residential areas. The Holiday Inn Express hotel and Busy Bees Day-Care provide non-office support to the park along with the recent Co-op retail store.

“I shall still retain an interest in the park,” Alan said.

"I am keeping three buildings as investments and also ownership of Shrewsbury Business Park Management Ltd."

Run by Anthony Scanlon, the management company does a multitude of things from litter collection and grass cutting to securing important legislation to protect against illegal parking.

Shrewsbury Business Park encourages social and business contact between occupiers through a variety of initiatives. Anthony established his Park Perks scheme, whereby discounts are offered to other businesses on the park. He is an important point of contact for all occupiers and looks after the website

Alaska recently obtained planning permission for The Hay Yard, fronting Anchorage Avenue; a business hub round a central courtyard, offering freeholds to small and medium sized companies.

Alan added: “It is the first time we have branded something personally. The architect is Walker Hay, run by my son, so the family connection is still there.”

John Gwilliam, of Redstart, said: “It is a shame that Alan is retiring but I am sure he will keep an eye on progress from afar as he always does. After a long and trusting business relationship, we, of course, are more than pleased to be able to drive the remaining plots forward over the coming years."

Redstart Construction has been established in Shrewsbury for over 30 years and says it remains committed to build quality buildings via contracting company Matrix.

"Our next park venture will be The Hay Yard," John said.

“We as a company will be the first occupiers on this new exciting development showing our commitment to the business park."

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