Green light for Co-op's new distribution centre

19 May 2019

Planning consent has been given for Co-op's new 661,000 sq ft regional distribution centre to support exisiting stores and growth plans for London, the South and South East.

The new depot, situated just off the A1 at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade - less than 30 miles north of the M25 – is expected to open in early 2022, creating up to 1,200 jobs.

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The site represents the first pre-let development from the db Symmetry strategic land portfolio acquired by Tritax Big Box REIT plc in February 2019.

Contracts were originally exchanged between db Symmetry and Co-op in November 2018, conditional on full planning consent. Co-op has secured a 20-year lease on the site.

Speaking about the decision, Tom Leeming, Development Director at db symmetry, commented: “Central Bedfordshire Council’s decision to grant planning permission will have a significant positive effect on Biggleswade with considerable inward investment and the creation of a wide range of jobs locally. The long term letting to Co-op really puts Biggleswade on the map as a strategic logistics business location. With planning now secured, our focus now turns to delivering this best in class facility for The Co-op."

Andy Perry, Supply Chain & Logistics Director, Co-op, said: “The infrastructure and site selection will deliver greater agility, scale and efficiency - improving service and availability at existing stores while building capacity to support our store investment programme and ambitions for continued growth. The new site will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations. The move will reduce road miles and overall supply chain costs while supporting our new and existing stores in the South and South East of England by having more of our products closer to our members and customers and the communities in which they live and work.”

Andrew Davie, Assistant Director for Development Infrastructure at Central Bedfordshire Council, added: “This planning decision marks another step towards the opening of the Co-op’s new facility which will create many jobs for the area. The retailer’s decision to open its regional distribution centre here, rather than other competing sites in the region is great news and we are pleased to have played a role in attracting this major retailer to the area. We look forward to working with the Co-op to secure employment opportunities for our residents and the wider economic benefits that this will bring to the area.”

Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, extends to around 50 acres and was purchased by developer db symmetry in the summer of 2017. It has been granted detailed planning consent for up to 1 m sq ft of logistics space.

Last August (2018) the Co-op also opened a new £6M distribution centre at Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP), Scotland. its new Dalcross facility is now servicing the Co-op’s extensive network of stores in the region, and will also facilitate future store expansion across the Highlands of Scotland.

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Further information:

Andrew Torr

Co-op Press Office

Email: andrew.torr@coop.co.uk

Telephone: 07702505551