IM Properties has appointed contractor Winvic Construction to work in partnership with its in-house project delivery team to construct its new Mercia Park scheme, at Junction 11 of the M42 in northwest Leicestershire, including a 2.94m sq ft global parts logistic centre for Jaguar Land Rover which is being forward funded by Intermediate Capital Group (ICG).
Aiming for the scheme to be Net Zero in construction, Mercia Park provides a further step forward for IM Properties’ sustainability ambitions for future developments, complimenting an extensive social value programme and a skills and training initiative already underway at the scheme.
Jason Jasper UK project director for IM Properties said Mercia Park was setting new records from investment to delivery in the industrial marketplace.
“This is not only the largest single occupier deal ever to be agreed and funded but a major planning, construction and project delivery accomplishment. We’ve taken a 238-acre site from zero to development ready in four years.
“To date IM Properties has invested over £70 million in the Mercia Park development including planning, civils and Infrastructure, which demonstrates IM Properties ability to promote and invest in bringing forward much needed employment sites.”
The Civils and Infrastructure works includes an extensive earthworks programme and excavation and remodelling of 1.5 million cubic metres of material to accommodate the development plateaux and 3000m of screening bunds.
To move the amount of material onsite and reduce the HGV traffic on local roads, Winvic used a pioneering crawler excavator, one of the first of its kind in the UK which was capable of moving the vast quantities of earth.
Additionally, 7,500m of underground drainage was installed and utilities were brought in from up to 12km in either direction of the scheme to connect up with 14km of electrical infrastructure, 12km of mains drainage and 10km of gas infrastructure.
“Typically a scheme of this scale would be delivered in separate phases over a five-to-ten-year period,” said Jason “After years of investment and hard work, it will be exciting to see all six buildings come out of the ground at the same time.
“We have worked hard with Winvic and our supply chain to manage the logistical challenges that comes with building this volume at the same time together with managing a phased handover of the development to JLR.
“This for me exemplifies what IM Properties is about as a company and developer – agile, focussed and all the time looking to be the best we can, setting the bar for manufacturing and logistics development in the UK.”
To ensure a long-term legacy for the scheme, Mercia Park has become more than the physical buildings, it’s about the green infrastructure and social value benefits designed to have a positive impact on the surrounding communities.
Jason continued: “We’re planting 85,000 individual trees and creating 30 acres of woodland, equivalent to nearly one third of the site, including many semi-mature tree varieties, with recreational paths, cycleways and wetland features incorporated into the site’s overall design
“18 projects have also already been identified and awarded £90,000 from IM Properties £350,000 Mercia Park Community Fund, which range from grassroot projects such as restoring ponds and pathways to buying new goalposts and equipment for a girl’s football team.”
The new global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover will include six buildings, ranging from 30,000 sq ft to just over one million sq ft, enabling the company to consolidate 19 warehouses in ten different UK locations into one global aftermarket parts operation, in modern more efficient BREEAM Excellent buildings, whilst also reducing the companies freight traffic by up to 25 per cent.
Andrew Reynolds, project director at IM Properties added: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Winvic on this scheme as a trusted member of our supply chain. They share our ability to push the boundaries to find more sustainable, low carbon ways of working and engage with the local community to boost skills and training and deliver an extremely ambitious and complex scheme to the highest of standards.”
Danny Nelson, director and head of industrial at Winvic, commented: “We have been on an incredible journey with IM Properties to date, working on numerous projects, but schemes of this nature don’t come around too often and so Mercia Park is one we are very proud to be a part of.
“To be selected by IM Properties as the delivery partner on a project of this size, scale and importance is testament to the relationship that has been cultivated over many years and that we continue to be market leaders in the sector.
Danny concluded: “Our investment in people, technologies and forward-thinking approaches to construction puts Winvic in the ideal position to support the green commitments made by IM Properties and we’re looking forward to constructing our largest industrial facility to date – at almost 3 million sq ft – for IMP and end user, UK automotive pioneer, Jaguar Land Rover.”