The Co-operative’s 468,000 sq ft regional distribution centre on Andover Business Park is due to open later this month following completion of the fit-out of the building.
The opening of the building marks completion of the first phase of development of the Goodman’s business park.
The distribution centre will handle 1.3m cases of fresh, frozen, chilled, and ambient products every week, to more than 400 stores across southern England.
Mark Leonard, The Co-operative Group’s regional head of logistics, said: “Andover is an excellent location to serve our stores in the south of England and we have worked closely with the developer who has delivered a fantastic facility on time and on budget.
“Our new regional distribution centre will not only provide major employment opportunities locally but will also help further boost the local economy for many years to come. This is a major investment in, and commitment to, the local community.
“The Co-operative Group’s food business has grown significantly in recent years and our logistics operation has undergone a major overhaul to develop accordingly. This investment will help us to continue to provide high standards of service to our customers, while also allowing for further growth.”
Construction work on the RDC was been completed on schedule and it has been handed over to Legal & General, with whom Goodman agreed a forward funding and acquisition transaction in April 2010.
Development of the site has also required infrastructure improvements, notably the opening of a new £4 million junction which provides direct access to the A303 dual carriage way linking the site to the A34, and the M3 and M4 motorways.
The 100 acre multi use site has outline planning permission for 1.6 million sq ft of B1, B2 and B8 uses for industrial, office and logistics space. Situated on the West side of Andover, the park has excellent access to a large local workforce.
Jason Harris, development director at Goodman, said: “We have a clear vision and commitment for Andover Business Park, and this represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the site. We are proactively marketing the remaining 60 acres on the site, where we have secured outline planning permission for up to 1.6 million sq ft of commercial space.”