April 1 2015 Latest news:
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Developers are hoping to start work this year on a new 11-acre distribution centre at Felixstowe – while the port’s newest rivals have this week lost a similar project.
London Gateway has a one million square feet site for a logistics park on the banks of the Thames and its flagship client was to be a new national distribution centre (NDC) for Marks & Spencer.
However, the retail giant has now pulled the plug on the project and decided instead to operate from two new NDCs, at Castle Donington and Bradford, supported by converting four existing regional distribution centres into NDCs.
The company said: “Following a thorough review of our plans, we have taken a decision not to proceed with the site at London Gateway and have developed an alternative plan.
“This will use our capital investment more efficiently, with a planned £130m reduction in investment whilst largely retaining associated benefits.”
A spokesman for London Gateway said it would still be building its own common user facility at the logistics park, to be leased out when new clients are found. He said the terminal “continues to be a port of choice for M&S” and they would continue to work together.
Meanwhile, Uniserve confirmed that it is pressing ahead with its £45m-plus warehouse on a 26-acre site at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary, alongside the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.
The scheme, granted permission earlier this year, will create 500 new jobs and serve the Port of Felixstowe as a port-centric operation – a “one-stop shop” for importing, repacking and distributing goods specifically to their destination.
John Gandy, property director for Uniserve, said: “The reaction we have had from everybody has been very positive and that has been great.
“The bulk of the work comes after the planning process and we are now working on detailed designs as well as talking to some potential customer bases.
“We want to start work this year and that is our target.”
The centre, which will take a year to build and be ready to begin operating six months after that, will include a bottling operation, general merchandise, clothing distribution and e-fulfilment, and other operations depending on customers’ requirements and contracts.
The building, which will be 40 metres high, and will be 396m long and 118m wide.