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Expansion at logistics firm set to create 200 new jobs

Park owner St Modwen has submitted a planning application to build a new 40,000 sq ft workshop with offices and hardstanding on behalf of SMH.

The firm has been based at the business park for 15 years but is now looking to invest in a modern facility which will become the central hub for its business in Bedfordshire and the rest of the UK.

SMH Fleet Solutions employs 27 staff at Thurleigh and estimates that the proposed development will generate employment opportunities for up to 209 new staff at the site within three years.

Its current premises are inefficient and outdated buildings that can no longer accommodate the company’s expansion needs. The new workshop and offices will be used for the inspection, repair and refurbishment of vehicles. The planning application includes the retention of existing hardstanding and the creation of a further 18 acres for vehicle storage.

SMH Fleet Solutions managing director Martin McAuley said: “This exciting new development will provide SMH with an industry-leading facility and create high value employment opportunities in the local area.”

Nick Smith, development manager at St. Modwen, said that the new workshop development for SMH was important to secure long-term investment and jobs for the borough. He added: “Thurleigh Airfield Business Park is a major source of employment in Bedfordshire, the prominent use on site being vehicle logistics and storage for the automotive industry.

“This new facility will enable SMH to remain in the borough and will secure SMH’s long-term future at Thurleigh, creating a significant number of new jobs in the process.”

St Modwen acquired the former airfield from the Ministry of Defence in 1996. Thurleigh Airfield Business Park is home to over 20 companies, many in the vehicle processing and logistics sector of the automotive industry. 

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