UK forklift manufacturer snaps up speculative development for UK expansion

A material handling company that has appeared in Forbes’ list of the largest private companies in the US is to open a branch and training facility in Birmingham.

Crown Equipment Corporation has agreed to purchase Barberry 46, a speculative development on a landmark former Tucker Fasteners site in Perry Barr, Barberry Developments announced.

The Ohio-based business has acquired the 46,000 sq ft Grade-A warehouse and industrial unit. The move is expected to create “significant employment opportunities” in the region, Barberry said.

Jon Robinson, development director at Barberry, said: “We are very pleased to announce our building sale to Crown Equipment, which was agreed two months prior to practical completion. Barberry 46 is a high-quality Grade A building, prominently positioned on the A34 with excellent communication links. It will provide the perfect solution for Crown’s new Midlands branch and training facility, assisting them with their future expansion within the UK.”

Crown is a privately held and family owned global business which also has regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany and Singapore.

Its UK subsidiary, Crown Lift Trucks currently supplies a range of material handling equipment combined with fleet management and automation technologies for almost any type of UK industry from its three current UK branches. It plans to expand into Barberry 46 this autumn.

Simon Barkworth, UK managing director at Crown Lift Trucks (UK), said: “It is a very exciting time for Crown UK. Our business has grown significantly in the UK and we are delighted to secure the purchase of Barberry 46 and expand into this additional bigger premises. Adding to our current branches in Basingstoke, Warrington and Coatbridge, Scotland, this modern facility will allow us to focus and support upon our centrally based customers more effectively.”

MWRE and JLL acted on behalf of Barberry.

Nick Oakley, head of property finance at Frontier Development Capital, said: “We are delighted to have facilitated the speculative development funding and regeneration of this key employment site in Birmingham. Barberry have been an excellent development partner and it’s tremendous news that Crown are moving into and investing in the West Midlands region.”

Barberry 46 is situated on the old Tuckers Fastenings site at Walsall Road. Founded in 1903, Tuckers produced rivets, fasteners and other metal products, as well as building fighter planes during World War II. It closed in 2013.