Huge Co-operative warehouse in Avonmouth brings 1,000 jobs
A STATE-of-the-art warehouse which will create around a thousand new jobs has finally opened for business.
The £38 million warehouse in Avonmouth was officially opened by the Co-operative yesterday.
The new facility has replaced a smaller warehouse in Bridgwater and will supply the company's supermarkets across the South West and South Wales.
According to the supermarket chain the warehouse will pump around £25 million into Bristol's economy and be a major boost for the Avonmouth area.
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The company decided to press ahead with the scheme following its £1.5 billion takeover of Bristol supermarket Somerfield.
Following the takeover the Co-op revamped its logistics operation and the way it delivers goods to its stores in Bristol and the surrounding area.
The 435,780 square foot facility at Cabot Park is one of the biggest warehouses in an area which has enjoyed a mini-boom in recent years.
New arrivals have included John Lewis, Ocado and Yankee Candle. Drinks giant Constellation Europe also has a huge depot at Avonmouth which is the biggest of its kind in Europe.
Avonmouth has become popular with distributors because of its closeness to the motorway network and the availability of land which is ready to be developed.
The new Co-op warehouse has created around 1,000 jobs although some of those have been moved from other parts of the region.
The centre will serve almost 500 Co-operative supermarkets delivering around 1.2 million cases a week.
And the fully automated building will be in operation 24 hours a day throughout the year.
The scheme was developed as a joint venture between Midlands based property specialists Gallan Group and Stoford who commissioned local architects Webb Gray to design the highly sustainable building. The construction was carried out by Volker Fitzpatrick.
In their first joint venture, Gallan Group and Stoford pre-let the scheme to the Co-operative Group on 33 acres of land previously owned by The Crown Estate. The land was previously used by car maker Honda as part of its UK storage centre.
Dan Gallagher, joint managing director of Stoford, said: "Everyone worked tirelessly to ensure that this major project become a reality.
"We are delighted to have played a part in an initiative which will see a tremendous boost to the local economy and employment."
Karen Wilson, director of Gallan Group, added: "This multi-million pound investment will have a significant impact on the local community and its economy for many years to come."
David Delaney Hall director of Webb Gray added: "We enjoyed working closely with the Co-operative and we ensured our design featured the latest standards in energy saving and recycling initiatives which has resulted in the highest rating in the industry."
The centre is expected to be fully operational by May. The scheme is Stoford's second major project in Bristol following the purchase of Redland House in Clifton for a 60,000 square foot headquarters office development for Simplyhealth.