JCB takes Blue Planet site and £2.9m government funding

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JCB has signed with Gazeley for a long term lease on a 383,000 sq ft warehouse development at Blue Planet, Chatterley Valley, with a conditional £2.9 million of government funding.

The facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme will be branded JCB and will operate as the central receiving hub for supplier-bought components used in the manufacture and assembly of JCB machines.

It will serve JCB’s UK plants as well as a compaction equipment factory in Germany and its newest manufacturing facility in Brazil.

The distribution hub will be commissioned this month and by the end of the year will employ around 60 people. Employment levels are expected to rise to more than 300 people once the facility becomes fully operational in the next two years.

The manufacturer of construction equipment has been conditionally offered £2.9 million from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund to fund job creation on the site and to provide training programmes.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “We need growth that is more evenly balanced across the country. That is why we are supporting firms such as JCB through the Regional Growth Fund, which will enhance their infrastructure and bring long-term employment to the area.

“Our recent construction industrial strategy underlines the importance of the sector to the economy and is a further boost to the industry as a whole. It will attract further investment and create jobs at an important manufacturing hub in Staffordshire.”

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JCB also signed an option to purchase an adjacent 7.7 acres of land from Newcastle Borough Council to facilitate future expansion.

Alan Blake, JCB chief executive said: “Staffordshire is where JCB’s business started nearly 68 years ago and I’m delighted that our latest expansion is creating jobs in the county which has been our home for so long. Staffordshire is a fantastic place to do business and this site offers some huge advantages for JCB, particularly with transport links to the A500 and M6”

Gareth Snell, leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Gazeley’s Blue Planet building is an inspirational development that we are extremely proud to have in the borough and we feel that JCB is the ideal company to occupy it.

“This is great news for local people given that the company estimate that more than 300 new jobs will be created. We would hope that local companies would benefit too from supply chain opportunities.”

Blue Planet was speculatively developed by Gazeley, achieving the world’s first BREEAM Outstanding certification for a logistics building. It combines a highly specified logistics warehouse with cutting edge sustainable technologies.

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