Construction has started on a major medical distribution centre in Wakefield, which will create between 150 and 300 jobs and serve the NHS and pharmacies across the North of England.
The 260,000 sq ft facility is being built by GMI Construction Group PLC on behalf of developer HBD and Yorkcourt for PHOENIX Group; a large group of companies providing high quality healthcare services and products across the UK and Europe.
The completed facility will feature 22 dock level loading bays and seven level access doors to enable the productive arrival and distribution of medical products. It will also be highly energy efficient, including the use of Solar PV on its roof. The car park will also offer 46 electric vehicle charging bays.
As part of the development, the site will have extensive landscaped areas and a balancing pond, while improvements will be made to adjacent bridleways, which are connected to the iconic Trans Pennine Trail.
The facility at Wakefield Hub, which is close to Junction 30 of the M62, will provide PHOENIX Group’s Phoenix Medical Supplies business with an extensive distribution base for its operations covering North East England and Yorkshire.
Wakefield Hub is being delivered in joint venture by HBD and Yorkcourt and, spanning 200-acres, is one of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in the North of England.
Among its business activities, PHOENIX Group provides the NHS with a safe, reliable and cost-effective supply chain to ensure patients receive the medicines they need in hospitals, community pharmacies and GP surgeries.
Also within the group, PHOENIX Group operates a number of pharmacy brands including Rowlands, Numark and NuCare and supports more than 4,000 community pharmacies.
The facility will be PHOENIX Group’s 14th UK depot, which already deliver more than 250 million packs of medicines each year. It employs 5,500 people who provide support to the 25 million patients who visit our owned and supported pharmacies each year.
The facility is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will generate around 150 construction job during the build programme.
Andrew Hurcomb, Managing Director -Yorkshire at GMI Construction Group, said: “We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with HBD to deliver this significant project, which will enhance the economy of the local area and generate employment. The investment being made in Wakefield is indicative of the levelling up that’s taking place in the North of England that GMI is contributing to through the construction of facilities such as this.”
Steve Anderson, PHOENIX Group Managing Director, said “Over the last few years, we have seen an outstanding growth in customer demand for our core services outpacing the market: Wakefield is a prime example of how we are committed to investing in the future by expanding our UK-wide operational capabilities to offer all our customers across the country the best possible service they need, want and deserve.
“This follows our investment a few years ago in a new, much larger depot in Belfast to meet growing demand in Northern Ireland. This is in addition to introducing market-leading new service solutions such as Golden Tote; Hey Pharmacy; centralised repeat prescription assembly; and PilPouch. This is an exciting time for PHOENIX UK.”
Tom Wheldon, Director and Head of Region at HBD, said: “It’s fantastic to see the new unit for PHOENIX starting on site – its move to Wakefield is a huge vote of confidence in Wakefield as a place to invest and in the strength of Yorkshire’s regional economy.”
Scott Mackie, Director at Yorkcourt, said: “We’re excited to see work beginning on the new unit for PHOENIX; the latest addition to Wakefield Hub. It’s an important scheme for Wakefield, regenerating a 200-acre site and creating significant new job opportunities.”
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We are delighted to have this new centre in our district, providing much needed medical supplies to the NHS.
“It’s fantastic to see more investment being made in the Wakefield district and a welcome addition to the district’s fantastic business community.
“With a £6 billion economy and world-famous businesses already established in the area the district is a great place to be located.
“Wakefield has plenty to offer. It has strong connections that make it incredibly accessible to the rest of the country, with the main motorway networks meeting just outside the city centre, along with a regular mainline rail service to London that takes two hours.
“We want more businesses to choose the district as a base for their operations, and the Council works in partnership with companies to encourage this and make it happen.”