Investec Real Estate has provided Norton Group with an £80 million financing package for the development of a “state-of-the-art” distribution centre in Suffolk. The 1.2 million ft² facility has already been pre-let to UK retailer The Range.
A subsidiary of Norton Group, The Range will use the site as its main distribution hub for the South East. The retailer already has distribution centres in Bristol and Doncaster, currently servicing its over 210 stores nationwide. It is hoped that the new facility in Suffolk will support The Range’s “aggressive growth strategy” that includes expanding its network of stores as well as growing its e-commerce operation.
Alex Simpkin, The Range’s Chief Executive, explained: “This is not only a major landmark in the expansion of The Range’s estate; it is positive news for the UK retail sector. Together with Investec’s expertise and understanding of real estate financing, we are effectively injecting millions of pounds into the economy at a time when it is much needed.
“This vast distribution centre is one of the biggest warehouse developments in the UK in the last five years and will allow us to expand to further locations around the UK, delivering new jobs and store openings, as well as providing an even better service in-store and online for customers by allowing us to expand our product offering and that of the newly-acquired Wilko brand.”
The Wilko brand, website, and intellectual property was bought by The Range for £5 million in September, after it went into administration following 93 years on the British high street.
26 miles from the Port of Felixstowe and adjacent to Junction 50 of the A14, the new development will be located within the Gateway 14 logistics park in Stowmarket. Construction of the scheme is estimated to cost around £200 million.
The development will target BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification and an EPC ‘A’ rating, with the site set to benefit from 160 EV charging points, as well as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, air source heat pumps, and smart energy systems.
This news follows the submission of plans for a second warehouse at Gateway 14 in June – a new 164,500ft² manufacturing and warehouse facility to be speculatively developed by property company Jaynic.
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