16th May 2019

Green light for the Co-op’s new regional distribution centre

We have gained planning for a new 661,000 sq ft regional distribution centre, to be developed for the Co-op at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade. Tritax Big Box REIT is funding the development.

The announcement comes after we agreed a new 20-year lease at the end of last year with the food retailer. The new facility will create up to 1,200 new employment opportunities and an investment value of over £90 million. The Co-op has confirmed it will be investing over £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.

Situated just off the A1 at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade and only 29 miles north of the M25, the new centre will support the Co-op’s ambitions for continued growth across London, the South and South East.

Speaking about the decision, Tom Leeming, Development Director 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 concluded: “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, comprises approximately 50 acres and has detailed planning consent for up to 1 m sq ft of logistics space.

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