Keypoint, Swindon

This project was one of the original separate independent development projects which were combined under a single business banner in 1998 to form Ravenbourne. This 63 acre site, situated on A419, 4 miles from Junction 15 of M4, adjacent to Honda UK’s manufacturing HQ, was originally identified by Sunway Properties Ltd (now Ravenbourne Developments Ltd) as a logistics location with intermodal road/rail terminal potential. Sunway spent several years securing a number of complex agreements with landowners, Honda UK Manufacturing, Railtrack plc (now Network Rail) and the Borough of Swindon to facilitate this development including an agreement for the design, construction and future maintenance of a replacement bridge across the Great Western mainline in order to secure a proper vehicular access into the site. Ultimately Sunway obtained an outline planning consent for the site to provide an 8 acre road/rail intermodal freight terminal including lorry park, open container storage, sidings and link to the mainline plus the erection of 950,721ft² (88,325m²) of B8 warehousing.


Initially a joint venture partnership was set up between Wilson Bowden Developments (previously Trencherwood Commercial) and Ravenbourne to take the scheme forward. Funding was secured from Legal & General and the development was marketed to secure pre-lets only. Two buildings of 175,000ft² (16,257m²) and 225,000ft² (20,902m²) were eventually pre-let. The smaller unit, known as Unit 1, was pre-let to transport group TDG (subsequently taken over by Norbert-Dentressangle) to service a Honda related logistics contract. The larger unit, known as Unit 2, was pre-let to South Marston DC Ltd whose core operation is the receiving and sequencing of automotive parts which are shipped in a just in time basis to Honda’s UK manufacturing plant next door. Following completion of these units both Ravenbourne’s and Wilson Bowden Developments’ involvement in the project ended.


Legal & General subsequently sold about 15 acres of the site to Oxford University’s Bodleian Library for the development of a 300,000ft² book storage facility. The remaining 7.1 acres of the site is currently being marketed by Legal & General for pre-lets only and is capable of providing up to 142,500ft² (13,239m²) of distribution building/s including ancillary offices.