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Unilever’s Bedford base hits market for £66m

Palmer Capital and Wrenbridge have put Colworth Park, home to one of Unilever’s global research and development campuses, on the market for £66m.

The price for the 319,789 sq ft, 12-building campus located near Bedford reflects a yield of 5.62%.

CBRE has been appointed to sell the property, which Palmer and Wrenbridge bought for about £50m in 2014 from a joint venture between Unilever and Goodman. Since that deal, Wrenbridge has implemented an “intensive asset management programme” to improve the park.

As part of this, it refurbished Colworth House, which has since attracted new tenants including Swiss flavourings company Firmenich.

The park is home to one of Unilever’s six global research and development campuses, which has been located there since 1947. The consumer goods giant’s lease runs until 2034.

“This is a crucial site that is a real asset to Bedford and the wider scientific community, and we are thrilled to be leaving it in a secure position that will enable it to grow further,” said Ewen McLeod, director at Wrenbridge.

Wrenbridge will continue to lead the promotion of 900 acres of farmland surrounding the park as a location for a new garden village.