Co-op Group’s new depot to create 1,200 jobs and grow business in the south

'This is an exciting development, we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities'

The Co-op Group has agreed terms for a new £45m distribution depot to support its growth across London, the South and South East.

The new 661,000 sq ft depot, set to be built near the A1 at Bedfordshire’s Symmetry Park, Biggleswade – is expected to open in early 2022, creating up to 1,200 jobs.

Symmetry Park, which extends to around 50 acres, has been granted detailed planning consent for up to 1 million sq ft  of logistics space. The Group has secured a 20-year lease on the site, and it is anticipated that construction will begin towards the end of 2019.

The Group is also working to reduce its environmental impacts, so the depot will have low energy lighting and refrigeration, rainwater harvesting and will work towards a BREEAM Excellent rating – an independent assessment of a building’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.

In August, the Group opened its £6m Dalcross distribution centre at Inverness Airport Business Park, which is now servicing the retailer’s extensive network of stores in the region, and will facilitate future store expansion across the highlands of Scotland.

Related: Group brings in JDA Software to revamp its supply chain process

Jo Whitfield, the Group’s retail chief executive, said: “The new site will extend capacity across our logistics network.

“This will help stores to better serve communities and support our ambitious growth plans across London, the South and South East. This is an exciting development – we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities. The investment is indicative of both the performance of the Co-op and the delivery of our food strategy.”

Andy Perry, the Group’s supply chain & logistics director, added: “The site will deliver greater agility, scale and efficiency. It will reduce road miles, overall supply chain costs and supports our stores in the South by having more of our products closer to our members and customers.”

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