Practical completion of a 661,000 sq ft regional distribution centre (RDC) that is pre let to the Co-operative Group Limited at Symmetry Park Biggleswade has been reached.
Winvic Construction has now completed the base build of the BREEAM Excellent facility. The main contractor remains on site for the Co-op to fit out of the new centre which is set to become fully operational in 2022 creating around 1,200 jobs.
Located off the A1 at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade and only 29 miles north of the M25, the new centre will support the Co-op’s future growth ambitions across London, the South and South East.
Speaking about the completion of the project, Tom Leeming, Development Director at Tritax Symmetry, commented: “The Co-op is a highly valued client in the Tritax Big Box portfolio and we are thrilled to have delivered their most sustainable RDC to date. I would like to express my thanks for the proactive and collaborative way in which our stakeholders, from Central Bedfordshire Council to the wider project team and indeed Co-op, have approached this project making it a huge success.”
The distribution centre will also use energy from Co-op’s energy buying co-operative, Co-op Power. By using Co-op Power, the centre will share energy from 100 percent renewable sources. As a result, the centre is projected to make a saving of £3 million over 20 years. Co-op Power’s plans for the centre include installing 3.5 ME of solar PV in roof and supply balance from Biggleswade wind farm.
Andy Perry, Supply Chain & Logistics Director, Co-op, continued: “This building will be one of the greenest depots in the country, running on 100% renewable electricity and will create a modern, positive working environment for our colleagues. The development will also support our ambitions for future growth into London, the South and South East. Making sure we have the right distribution facilities to deliver improved service and availability now, and in the future, is our priority. Our attention now is focused on the fit-out and seeing this huge empty building turn into a fully-functional distribution centre of the highest standard.”
Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning & Regeneration, Central Bedfordshire Council, commented: “I would like to thank Tritax Symmetry for the collaborative way they have worked in bringing forward this project and the green credentials embedded in making this building sustainable, reflecting the standards we set for new growth in the area. I welcome the Co-op to Biggleswade and acknowledge their contribution towards state-of-the-art facilities and jobs to support the local economy.”
Danny Nelson, Winvic’s Head of Industrial, added: “This sustainable, regional distribution centre is an excellent example of what can be achieved when all stakeholders have the same vision and passion. I am very proud of the Winvic team for their focus and commitment in delivering this large temperature-controlled facility, especially through the unique challenges of the pandemic, and we join Tritax Symmetry and the Co-op in celebrating this milestone. We have now moved on to the fit-out phase – directly for the Co-op – so it won’t be long before the centre is fully operational and helping to meet growing consumer demand.”
Tom Leeming, Development Director at Tritax Symmetry, continued: “With phase one at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade now complete, and having secured detailed consent for four units totalling 577,000 sq ft on phase two at the end of 2020, we are working on bringing forward future phases for new occupiers. There will also be more exciting news regarding the implementation of on site power generation, which will further enhance the sustainability credentials of this prime Central Bedfordshire distribution and logistics park.”
The wider project team included Savills Project Management; AJA Architects; Feasibility; Dunwoody; Woods Hardwick and ACD Environmental.
Mathews & Goodman represented Co-op.