By Scott Wright

THE former Cummins diesel engine factory in Shotts, which in its heyday made high-speed engines for cars and trains, is being marketed for industrial use again.

The site, located at Junction 5 M8 Business Park, was home to Cummins’ first manufacturing facility outside the US when it opened in 1956.

At its peak, Cummins employed around 2,000 people in the factory, where it pioneered a new breed of engines used by trains, including the British Rail Sprinter units.

The factory, based in a former textile mill known as the Wrens’ Nest, was closed in 1998, when it consolidated operations in Darlington.

However, efforts are now being made to find a new tenant for the 500,000 square-foot premises, with Shepherd Chartered Surveyors citing strong demand for industrial property amid the continuing e-commerce boom. Shepherd, which is marketing the lease, highlighted the site’s favourable location from a logistics standpoint. It is based 25 miles from Glasgow, 20 miles from Edinburgh, and is close to Airdrie, Coatbridge, Motherwell and the Eurocentral business park.

Steve Barnett, managing partner at Shepherd, said: “We are greatly encouraged by the level of enquiries received to date in advance of the launch of the formal marketing campaign of this iconic building.

“Industrial stock has continued to perform well, partly due to occupiers seeking additional space as a result of the recent expansion of e-commerce, but also through the change in vacant rates liabilities a number of years ago which led to a significant amount of dated industrial stock being demolished and developed for alternative uses, thereby reducing supply at a time when demand has been rising.

“Add in the additional stock-piling requirements as a result of Brexit, coupled with limited speculative development over recent years, demand has outstripped supply, resulting in a rise in rents and capital values as the level of ‘take up’ increases.”