Construction work on The Co-operative Group’s £20m regional distribution centre in Avonmouth has been completed and fit-out work is now starting at the site which is due to open in May next year.
The 435,750sq ft facility, located near to junction 18 on the M5, will employ around 900 staff, some of whom have already started on site. The RDC will distribute food to around 482 Co-operative food stores in the Bristol, north Somerset and South Wales areas.
Developers Gallan Group and Stoford, in conjunction with the main contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, handed over the site at Cabot Park on Poplar Way to The Co-operative.
Deliveries are due to start later this month and will be ramped up until the site becomes fully operational in May 2013 once the final fitting out and stocking are complete.
The depot, which will deliver around 1.2 million cases per week, incorporates a number of energy-efficient initiatives, including rain water harvesting and energy-saving lighting. Staff will use the latest voice recognition systems to pick orders and the vehicles will use tracking system technology.
Mark Leonard, head of logistics service at the Co-operative Food, said: “The construction has been a massive project, with several challenges to overcome, but it has been a great team effort all round to get to this stage.
“Work is now underway to fit-out the depot, and we are looking forward to starting operations on site, ensuring we continue give the high level of product availability and service that Co-operative customers expect from the state-of-the-art facility.”
* Colliers International has been appointed by Co-operative Estates to dispose of surplus warehouses totalling more than of 3m sq ft across 15 sites.
The sites include ambient, chilled and frozen warehouses in the south west, the Midlands and Scotland. Sizes range from 10,000 sq ft to 320,000 sq ft.
Geoff Player, director of commercial and investment property at the Co-operative Group said: “These properties are well located and offer a wide variety of warehouses throughout the country that will appeal to a range of distribution and industrial occupiers. The fact that the portfolio provides a mix of ambient, chilled and frozen space will undoubtedly widen their appeal. Co-operative Estates has already disposed on in excess of 700,000 sq ft of surplus industrial property in the last 12 months and we are looking to build on this momentum.”
Colliers will act as lead agent on the portfolio, working with existing joint agents. Iain Davidson, director of logistics & industrial, said: “The properties being offered in the portfolio provide an excellent fit for the distribution and wider industrial sectors. The sites are very well located and offer a wide range of floor space and facilities that will be attractive for an extensive range of occupiers.”