Co-op pushes ahead at Avonmouth

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The Co-operative Group has chosen developers Gallan Group and Stoford to build its £35million regional distribution centre at Avonmouth.

A detailed planning application will be submitted later this year and the 435,780 sq ft cross-dock style distribution centre, configured to allow 24/7 use, is expected to be operational in early 2012.

It will serve more than 400 food stores in Bristol, the South West and South Wales and is part of the Co-operative’s reorganisation of its UK logistics following the acquisition of Somerfield in 2009.

The 32-acre site forms part of a 93-acre facility currently occupied by Honda Motor Europe as part of their UK vehicle storage facility. While working with Honda to release the land, which is surplus to Honda’s requirements, The Crown Estate was able to agree the sale to the developers Gallan Group and Stoford. The Crown Estate retains ownership of the remaining 60 acres.

Mark Leonard, The Co-operative’s regional head of logistics, said: “The Bristol facility is an important element in the distribution spine that we are creating to service our retail portfolio in the southern region and will come on stream 12 months after our scheme in Andover, which is currently under construction.

“The team from Gallan Group and Stoford displayed great professionalism over many months of negotiations. We were impressed with the ‘customer focus’ shown by their team, and are happy we have a partner who will help us deliver a first class facility.”

The deal, described by Stoford Director Dan Gallagher as “particularly innovative”, took 12 months to negotiate. “We have worked closely with the occupier to secure a first-class site in the established environment which already has a string of key occupiers including John Lewis, Scottish and Newcastle, Expeditors and Avon and Somerset Police.”

Dan Gallagher will lead the project for Stoford alongside his sister, Karen Wilson on behalf of Gallan Group, where she is director.

Karen Wilson added: “We are very much looking forward to delivering this development in partnership with Stoford and to working closely with The Co-operative Group.”

The Avonmouth scheme is Stoford’s second major scheme in Bristol this year following the site purchase of Redland House for a 60,000sq ft office development for Simply Health.

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