Work to start on £90m distribution facility for Co-op

Jun 17, 2019

The Co-op’s new distribution centre at Biggleswade is set to create up to 1,200 new jobs

PLANS for a huge regional distribution centre for the Co-op at a Biggleswade business park have received the go-ahead.

National logistics specialist db symmetry is preparing to start work on the 661,000 sq ft centre after it agreed a 20-year lease at the end of last year with the food retailer.  The new £90 million facility will create up to 1,200 new jobs.  

The Co-op has confirmed it will be investing more than £30 million on the fit out of the frozen, chilled and ambient depot which is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2022.

Central Bedfordshire Council, which granted planning permission for the development, says the Co-op’s arrival will be a major employment boost locally.

db symmetry development director Tom Leeming added: “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.”

The Co-op says the site will play an important role in its store investment programme and in realising its growth plans. “The new site will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations,” said supply chain and logistics director Andy Perry. “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.”  

Symmetry Park covers around 50 acres and has detailed planning consent for up to one million sq ft of logistics space.

The council’s assistant director for development infrastructure Andrew Davie said: “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.”   

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