A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bericote's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bericote is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

Richard Saint, managing director
Dartford Power Station,
115 acres
Bericote are one of the most active developers of
distribution space in the UK, with over 4.8 million square
feet developed over the past three years and a further
4.2million in the pipeline. Their clients are some of the UK’s
most highly regarded companies, including Amazon, Rolls-Royce,
DHL and Ocado. Their approach is one of cooperation and
transparency so that transactions can be conducted quickly in
the spirit of openness and trust. Managing director and majority
shareholder Richard Saint founded the company in June 2007.
Next day, same day and even within the hour, whether it’s coffee beans or bonsai
trees, whether it’s delivered by DHL, Amazon or Tesco, an intense war of attrition
is going on to get modern products to you, faster and cheaper. At the axis of
this change, we are providing millions of square feet of complex, ever-changing
high-tech space in the form of automated warehouses. Often sold at £100
million apiece, employing thousands of people, these facilities are driving inward
investment in the UK, creating diverse employment opportunities and regenerating
neglected or contaminated land. So, how did we become key to this process?
Since our inception, we have enjoyed strong relationships with the food retailing
sector; this client base has since grown to become more diverse. We now specialise
in working with online retailers, delivering bespoke facilities that meet their
increasing demand for automation in strategic hubs and last-mile delivery.
In our early years, we completed a couple of deals, but things really started to get
going in 2010 with the roll-out of several Asda distribution centres. That changed
things substantially; it provided us with the ability to speculate by acquiring,
»Managing director:
»Established in 2007
»Based in London, Leamington
and Manchester
»Services: Development of
industrial and distribution
warehouses of sizes of up to
one million square feet
»No. of employees: 7
Highlighting best practice
controlling and bringing land through
the planning process. We now have an
impressive body of work, completed
over the past 11 years, and an enviable
reputation in the property industry as
being both reliable and timely.
This process of development is at
the heart of everything we do.
It is all about land: controlling it,
owning it and bringing it through
for employment purposes – be that
as industrial units or distribution
warehousing. A great example of
this is our site in Haydock: Florida
Farm North. Five years ago, we
secured an option with a farmer for
the 90-acre site. This site was then
incorporated into the borough of
StHelens’ local plan and allocated
for employment use. We spent over
£2million achieving planning consent
and stabilising old underground mine
works. We have since worked with
the local authority and stakeholders;
the site is now ready for development,
and will create up to 2,500 jobs for the
local community.
Repeat business and white
Winning the trust of a new occupier
is our goal with any given project,
and it’s a difficult one, to say the
least. Delivering late or over budget
inevitably dissolves this trust. We are
proud to say that we have always
delivered on our promises and never
had a single piece of litigation, across
billions in separate transactions.
There’s no better brand or example
than Rolls-Royce; their manufacturing
director, Frank Ludwig, made us a
promise that he would “keep his
white vest” while delivering two
new facilities for them. He explained
the German use of this expression;
it is used to denote a delivered
unblemished record. He wanted to
ensure that the Rolls-Royce production
line would never be impeded or
affected throughout our work with
them. It wasn’t; we delivered early and
on budget and returned for two new
deals for the company. Frank’s vest
remains pristine.
Our values
We are committed to reducing
the environmental footprint of our
buildings by lowering the water
and energy usage along with the
amount of waste generated during
construction and throughout the
building’s life. The introduction of
recycled and recyclable materials
where possible, and the usage of
natural light and the adoption of
industry best practices, has led
to “greener” developments. We
aim to be a responsible developer
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Ltd – 322,220 square feet
We believe in
giving back to
and creating
shared value
from inception to completion, fully
engaging with local communities and
our customers during the planning
and design processes to actively
promote sustainability, ecology and
the environment. As part of this
approach to sustainable development,
certain green technologies represent a
shopping list for our customers, who
may well have their own corporate
environmental policies or requirements
to meet. We are proud to have
achieved a BREAAM “excellent” rating.
We also believe in giving back to our
community and creating shared value.
Over the years we have built strong
relationships with local and national
charities, working together to make a
difference in the lives of the vulnerable
and less fortunate. We have, for
example, recently sponsored two
homes in Wolverhampton, alongside
appointing contractors and occupiers
for a unit we delivered nearby. These
homes were to be serviced and used
for refugees and those at risk of
homelessness. We then volunteered,
as a team, to help refurbish one of the
homes, ensuring it was ready for the
new tenants.
Punching above our weight
We have been called best-in-class, I
believe, because of our size. We have
the capacity to be as good as, if not
better than, some of our larger plc
competitors; our being a small team
allows us to provide a personalised
edge to every project, which helps
clients to feel both valued and secure
– we keep them informed through
every step of the process. Our success
is down to a strong attention to detail,
ensuring close customer relationships,
strong links with planning and local
authorities, and on-schedule unit
delivery. We typically appoint a general
contractor who would build the unit.
We manage the entire procurement
process and contract to make sure that
the clients get what they want on the
day they want it, leaving our customers
to focus on the core of their business.
We have strong relationships with a
number of funds whom we can use to
bid for land; they will bankroll the land
purchase and appoint us as developers
to develop the units over an agreed
timescale and then hold the asset in
their investment portfolio.
Our relationship with a quoted fund,
Tritax Big Box, enabled us to finalise
the £65 million purchase of a former
power station at Littlebrook, in
Dartford. This is a major distribution
development within the M25, offering
up to three million square feet of
development on a formerly disused
site. Sites like this don’t come along
every day; we were able to secure the
purchase quickly in the face of fierce
competition. I would estimate that the
final development value could be in
excess of half a billion.
Looking to the future
We currently have a considerable
land bank and order book, and will
continue to expand our operations in
the UK through organic growth and
partnerships with specialised funds in
the commercial property sector. The
leverage from these partnerships will
see us expand rapidly over the next
We have the
capacity to be as
good as, if not
better than,
some of our
larger plc
competitors; our
being a small
team allows us
to provide a
edge to every
250,000 square feet
built for Sainsbury’s

This article was sponsored by Bericote. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister