The Co-op will build a £45 million distribution centre in the Southeast to support their ambitious store growth strategy.
The new 661,000 sq.ft depot will be located off the A1 at Bedforshire’s Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, and will feature environmental and energy efficient measures such as low-energy lighting, refrigeration and rainwater harvesting.
The Co-op anticipate their new centre will create up to 1,200 jobs, with an opening date of 2022.
Construction is scheduled to begin towards the end of 2019 after Co-op secured a 20-year lease on the 50-acre Symmetry Park site. Co-op’s retail CEO Jo Whitfield described the distribution centre as a “vital step” in achieving their growth plans.
“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 and the investment is indicative of both the performance of the Co-op and the delivery of our food strategy,” Whitfield said.
Andy Perry, supply chain & logistics director, added: “The move 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 and the communities in which they live and work.”
In August the Co-op also opened a new £6m distribution centre at Inverness Airport Business Park. its new Dalcross facility is now servicing the Co-op’s extensive network of stores in the region, and will also facilitate future store expansion across the Highlands of Scotland.