Stoford starts work on Pets at Home’s new storage and distribution centre

(Foreground L-R) Dan Gallagher, Stoford Joint Managing Director; Pets at Home Chief Executive, Peter Pritchard; and Andrew Howard, Operations Director at McLaren Construction Group, with colleagues from Stoford, Pets at Home and McLaren Construction Group in the background.

Leading commercial property developer, Stoford has broken ground on the site of Pets at Home’s new state-of-the-art national storage and distribution centre in Staffordshire.

The UK’s leading pet care business has signed a 20-year lease on the purpose-built facility at Stafford North Business Park, close to Jct 14 of the M6.

Tesco Pension Fund is forward funding the new development, which is expected to employ more than 750 people when it opens in the summer of 2022.

The BREEAM excellent building will deliver a gross internal floor area of 670,000 sq ft, with an additional 100,000 sq ft of expansion land available if required.

Facilities will include two double-storey hub offices of 5,600 sq ft and a recycling store, tote store and a gatehouse detached from the main building.

A nature walk and dog walking areas will be made available for public use, along with colleagues working at the site.

Stoford has awarded the building contract to McLaren Construction Group.

The new national storage and distribution centre is part of the first phase of development on a 70-acre site at Stafford North Business Park.

The site will benefit from an additional £9 million investment in the road and utilities infrastructure, including a new roundabout on the A34 at Redhill, north of Stafford, that will open up further phases of development.

Stoford Joint Managing Director, Dan Gallagher said: “We have worked closely with Pets at Home and Tesco Pension Fund to develop this exciting new scheme that will sustain local jobs in Staffordshire. We will deliver a modern national storage and distribution centre, with a first-class design that has sustainability at its core. We are also making a significant investment in the infrastructure at Stafford North Business Park to allow us to develop the facility into one of the region’s leading employment sites.”

Pets at Home Chief Executive, Peter Pritchard said: “Today marks a major milestone in the next step on our journey and a significant investment that will help enable our colleagues to better serve our customers right across the country. For us, pets always come first and I am really proud that this project not only sees the development of a state-of-the-art national distribution centre that will allow us to create efficiencies throughout our supply chain, but it also brings with it brand new nature walks and safe dog walking areas for colleagues and local residents to enjoy.”

Luke Baker, Senior Fund Manager at Tesco Pension Fund said: “We are excited to partner with Stoford and Pets at Home to deliver this highly specified and sustainable national distribution facility. The opportunity creates a long-term real estate investment that is central to a key partner’s business and is aligned with our objectives of ensuring investment activity benefits local communities, our pension holders and delivers leading environmental performance.”

Colliers acted on behalf of Pets at Home and Stoford was represented by M1 and JLL. Gerald Eve acted for Tesco Pension Fund on the development funding.