Belgian logistics, real estate and motor-racing company Weerts Group has chosen Suffolk Park at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, for its first UK warehouse location and has secured just over 42-acres from developer Jaynic for a new 870,000 sq ft logistics unit to be delivered by Jaynic in summer 2021.
This is the largest ever warehouse transaction to be undertaken in Bury St Edmunds and the West Suffolk region bringing major new investment and jobs to the region.
The 870,000 sq ft logistics facility will be developed in two phases with a first phase of 476,000 sq ft to be completed in Summer 2021 and the second phase following immediately.
A detailed planning application has just been submitted to West Suffolk Council. Weerts Group is renowned across Europe for its buildings where sustainability is an important feature.
Weerts Group has chosen Suffolk Park because of its proximity to the Felixstowe ferry connection with the European continent and its proximity to Junction 45 of the A14 providing fast links into the UK motorway network.
Ben Oughton, development director of Jaynic, said: “This is a very significant deal for Suffolk Park, Suffolk and East Anglia. This transaction with Weerts Group comes swiftly on the heels of the sale of our SP206 unit to Chinese consumer goods importer M H Star and re-affirms the rapidly increasing popularity of the A14 as a logistics location. In under six months these two transactions amount to 1.1m sq ft of warehousing and the creation of around 700 jobs for the local economy,” added Oughton.
Weerts Group is headquartered in Liège, Belgium and has operations in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Hungary and Romania.
Its General Logistics Services division offers its clients comprehensive solutions for warehousing, transport and value-add logistics services, with a strong focus on innovative solutions and engaging in continuous improvement projects with its clients.
In 2017, it significantly expanded its operations through the acquisition of the in-house logistics of the Audi manufacturing plant in Brussels (65,000 sqm), where it operates all in-house logistics activities for the Brussels plant and is actively involved in preparing for the construction of the first full electric vehicle of the Audi group.
Pascal Weerts, CEO of Weerts Group, said: “We are delighted to support one of our biggest clients in their international growth and expansion by setting up our first important warehousing facility in the UK, and to have attracted a solid financial partner to secure the funding of the land acquisition and the development (Blackstone). Being a family-owned structure, our mission is to build engines for value creation. Our independence and entrepreneurial spirit allow us quickly to spot and seize opportunities, and our expertise as logistics operator allows us to develop logistics projects that are perfectly designed to meet the standards that our clients expect, on the best locations.”
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We welcome this new investment and the creation of new jobs here in West Suffolk helping to deliver the vision that the Council worked so hard to achieve when it set out to create the Suffolk Business Park.”
Richard Pyatt, a director of Hazells Chartered Surveyors, comments: “Acting on behalf of Jaynic we were delighted to introduce Weerts Group to Suffolk Park and assist in the negotiations for this transaction. This is a stellar example of the increasing demand from major logistics companies who see Felixstowe and the A14 as an alternative to the Kent ports for their links to the European continent. Securing a major occupier of this nature represents a significant boost for the local economy in Bury St Edmunds and underlines Suffolk Park as the pre-eminent logistics park in the region.”
Elsewhere at Suffolk Park the 112,000 sq ft first phase of Treatt Plc’s new global headquarters, being developed by Jaynic is due for completion imminently. The 114-acre Suffolk Park has outline planning consent for 2 million sq ft of business, distribution, and industrial space.
Suffolk Park agents are Bury St Edmunds based Hazells Chartered Surveyors, Cambridge agents Bidwells and Savills London’s logistics department.