Logistics Manager understands that Amazon has bought Highgrove Group’s 95-acre FollingsbyMax site in Gateshead in the north-east of England.
According to Companies House, Amazon.com became a person of significant control (responsible for 75% or more of the shares of the company) in Follingsby International Enterprise Park Ltd on 28 January, which subsequently changed its name to NCL1 Ltd on 7 February. LM also understands that this is the first time that Amazon has purchased freehold land in the UK.
The site secured planning in 2018 for up to 2.5 million sq ft high bay distribution/industrial space in a range of sizes from 200,000 sq ft up to 1,2 million sq ft 00,000 sq ft (the use of mezzanine space takes the total floorspace up to 2.5 million sq ft).
The development is located directly off the A194(M) giving easy access to the A1(M), the A19 and north with good access to Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside.
The specification includes up to 28-metre eaves height allowing for high-bay distribution, storage uses together with 24/7 access.
Enabling works at FollingsbyMax completed last year and involved Leeds-based contractor GMI Construction moving over 500,000 tonnes of material to create a 65-acre development platform in 45 weeks.
Highgrove and GMI have also developed a wildlife and conservation area on site, planting over 2000 trees, 10,000 plants and wild grasses and creating 30 acres of wetland and nature ponds.
The scheme benefits from up to 15.2 MVA power as well as Enterprise Zone status, which allows reduced business rates as well as recruitment and workforce development initiatives.
On 11 February Sunderland City Council’s executive director of city development Peter McIntyre confirmed to the Council’s Economic Prosperity Scrutiny Committee that the park is set to become a distribution centre.
Amazon has yet to comment.