db symmetry has announced that it has signed an Agreement to Lease with The Co-Op Food Group, which will see the food retailer take a new 661,000 sq ft regional distribution centre at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, further reinforcing its commitment to provide ‘best in class’ distribution to its food store network that comprises over 4,000 stores across the UK.
The new building has been secured on the basis of a new 20 year lease at a rent of £7.10 per sq ft and will create circa 1,200 new jobs and an investment value in excess of £90m, providing a tangible boost to the local economy.
Symmetry Park, Biggleswade, which extends to circa 50 acres was purchased by db symmetry in the Summer of 2017 and has subsequently been granted detailed planning consent for up to 1 m sq ft of logistics space. It is anticipated that construction will commence towards the end of 2019.
The new 661,000 sq. ft. depot – to be located just off the A1 at Bedfordshire’s Symmetry Park, Biggleswade – will support the retailer’s ambitions for continued growth in London, the South and South East, with the Co – Op anticipating investing upwards of £45M in fitting out the building.
Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op , said: “We are winning with our strategy to get closer to our customers’ and their shopping needs by offering the products they want and care about from stores which are closer to where they live. The new site will future-proof our operations and extend capacity across our logistic network. This will enable existing stores to better serve communities, and support our ambitious growth plans across London, the South and South East.
“This is an exciting development, we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities and the investment is indicative of both the performance of the Co-op and the delivery of our food strategy.”
Christian Matthews, Director at db symmetry, added:“Transactions such as this take many many months to reach fruition, and require all parties and their advisers to work closely together. Whilst there is still much to do going forwards we are very pleased to have this opportunity to deliver a first class building for the Co-Op.”
“Biggleswade falls within the Central Bedfordshire Council area and we would like to extend our thanks to the Council, which has been very supportive and has been part of the team attracting the Co-Op to the scheme.”
Andy Perry, Supply Chain & Logistics Director, Co-op, said: “The infrastructure and site selection will deliver greater agility, scale and efficiency – improving service and availability at existing stores while building capacity to support our store investment programme and ambitions for continued growth. The new site will form part of an integrated review and rebalancing of volumes across our network – it will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations. The move will reduce road miles, overall supply chain costs and supports our stores in the South by having more of our products closer to our members and customers and the communities in which they live and work.”
Central Bedfordshire Councillor, Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration and Business at the council commented:‘We are delighted to welcome a business of the calibre of the Co-op to the area bringing the significant number of jobs that will be created. We look forward to continuing to work closely with them and to support them over the coming years.’
Colliers and Brown & Lee acted for db symmetry at Symmetry Park, the Co-Op were advised by Matthews & Goodman.