Interview: Andrew Dickman and Kevin Theobold of Tritax Symmetry

Symmetry Park Bicester

Building Boardroom talks to the director and construction head at one of the UK’s biggest deliverers of logistics facilities about the changing demands of the market and how Tritax Symmetry plans to meet them. Josephine Smit reports

Tritax Symmetry is aiming for the top, with an ambition to be the UK’s biggest deliverer of logistics facilities. Currently placing itself in the top three, the company is working not only to deliver more space but also to make that space more sustainable, following a 2019 commitment to target net zero carbon (NZC) in construction, in line with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) framework definition, for all new development retained in its portfolio.

The firm was formed in 2019 when Tritax Big Box, the real estate investment trust (REIT) and leading UK investor in logistics property, acquired an 87% stake in specialist developer DB Symmetry. The REIT’s move to increase its development capabilities has proved a masterstroke, with its financial results for the first half of this year recording the highest first-half uptake of space on record at 21 million ft2 and development activity accelerating.

This has been achieved in an exceptionally strong market for the logistics sector with rising e-commerce, pandemic, Brexit and fragilities in just-in-time delivery systems all boosting demand for warehouse and distribution space in the UK. Take-up hit record levels in 2020, and demand continues to push the limits of supply in some regions.

But these factors are also causing some headaches for the logistics sector and for those delivering its buildings. Like HGV drivers, construction workers – as well as many construction materials – are in short supply. Andrew Dickman, the firm’s director, and Kevin Theobold, its head of construction, explain how the company is continuing to meet market demand against this backdrop.

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