Giant warehouse project which will create 500 jobs gets underway

Uniserve says it hopes the new 11.5-acre warehouse will be operational by the second quarter of 2021

Uniserve says it hopes the new 11.5-acre warehouse will be operational by the second quarter of 2021 Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

Work is underway on an enormous warehouse which will create hundreds of new jobs on the edge of the Port of Felixstowe.

Work under way on building a huge warehouse for Uniserve at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary Picture:

Work under way on building a huge warehouse for Uniserve at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

Although final planning permission for changes to the project has not yet been given, developers have consent for the outline and have started on the groundworks.

A fleet of diggers, bulldozers and trucks are working on the 26-acre site at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary, alongside the A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.

The project – which is expected to create up to 500 jobs – will see an 11.5-acre warehouse – the size of six football pitches – built and which will be to handle more than 100 lorries at loading bays at once.

Developers Uniserve said it was hoped the building would be ready to begin operations in the second quarter of 2021.

The Uniserve warehouse at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary, will cover 11.5 acres, around six footbal

The Uniserve warehouse at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary, will cover 11.5 acres, around six football pitches Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

The company is currently in discussion with East Suffolk Council on some changes to its original plans – affecting the inside of the building.

Instead of three mezzanine floors covering much of the building, this element has been reduced to smaller mezzanines, meaning storage capacity and the height of the building – due to be 40 metres high – will be reduced.

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Uniserve has been planning the project for six years but it has been beset by problems, including a huge escalation in the original £45m price and uncertainty in the financial markets following the Brexit vote which meant finance houses were very reluctant to lend cash needed to build the warehouse until the way ahead between the UK and continental Europe was more certain.

Uniserve said: “Finally we found that the investors we were talking to did not really understand multi-storey warehouses, a product well-established elsewhere in the world, but not a building type established in the UK property market. All these factors together have caused a delay to our development and operational plans.

A fleet of digers and earth-movers are working on the foundations of the Uniserve at Clicketts Hill,

A fleet of digers and earth-movers are working on the foundations of the Uniserve at Clicketts Hill, Trimley St Mary Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

“We are proposing to operate the building ourselves, as before, and there will be a large freezer store component (which is a major expansion for our Felixstowe-based Seafast business) together with general portcentric warehouse operations, much of which being as originally planned.”

The company said the project would bring “further business and significant additional employment”.

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