400,000 sq ft DC for clothing brand Regatta

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Outdoor and leisure clothing supplier Regatta is to set up a new distribution centre in the North West.

The company has taken Royal London’s 400,000 sq ft Pioneer Point facility in Ellesmere Port fronting the M53 motorway. It will serve the UK and European markets and could be operational by November.

Jo Radcliffe, the family-owned company’s head of human resources, said: “We hope to have around 75 people employed and trained by Christmas and the remainder of jobs will follow on a phased basis over the next two to three years.”

Jobs on offer will range from fork lift truck drivers, pickers and packers on the shop floor, to administration and management. Regatta said a recruitment drive had already begun.

The company reported revenues of £80m in the year to 31 January 2010 and a pre-tax profit of £7.1m. It now has sales offices in 12 countries worldwide.

Regatta has agreed a 15 year lease for the building where quoting rental levels were at £4.50 per sq ft.

Mike Rooney of  WHR, which advised Regatta, said: “This is a fantastic deal not only for Regatta but for the industrial market as, outside of London it is probably the biggest industrial deal so far this year and is a clear indicator that the market is slowly turning. Regatta is experiencing huge growth in its sector and with few large sheds readily available, we were able to negotiate a great deal for our client which also allows flexibility for further expansion going forward.”

Mr Rooney continues: “As more and more buildings are being taken up the supply of existing industrial stock is rapidly diminishing which means that landlords are going to adopt a position of greater strength as soon potential occupiers will have no choice but to look at design and build options if requiring new premises.”

The deal follows four months of talks between Regatta and Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Ellesmere Port Development Board and officers from the authority’s economic development team.

Council leader Mike Jones said the agreement was a “major step” in the regeneration of Ellesmere Port. He added: “I hope there will many more such investments to come.

“Having met Regatta we have done everything possible to help the company with all aspects of the move and will continue to work in partnership with them to ensure that their local recruitment process is a success.”

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