Up to 500 new jobs are being created at a giant Lidl distribution hub in the West Midlands.
The growing discount supermarket chain has announced plans to build a 450,000 sq ft distribution centre – the equivalent of six football pitches – near the M6 in Wednesbury.
The supermarket’s proposed West Midlands Distribution centre will be built on land near junction nine in an area called Opus Blueprint and will create managerial and office based jobs, as well as a host of warehouse roles.
Coun Darren Cooper, leader of Sandwell Council, said it would generate a “significant positive economic impact” for the borough.
He said: “I understand Lidl had looked at a number of sites but opted for this site because the company wanted access to a sufficiently large enough employment pool. We will be working closely with Lidl on recruitment to secure these jobs for local people.”
The giant warehouse will be in operation seven days a week, 365 days a year, on a three-shift basis.
Bosses at the retailer say the new distribution centre will spearhead future expansion across the region.
Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK said: “The new Lidl warehouse in Wednesbury will help service our stores in the West Midlands region as our expansion across the UK continues. We are looking forward to offering our fantastic value and quality products to more customers, as well as bringing new jobs and investment to the area in the not-too-distant future.”
Lidl has conditionally acquired the site from land owner St Francis Group and is working with Opus Land to develop it.
Planning permission is already in place for an industrial development of up to 597,000 sq ft. It is anticipated that detailed plans for the design and layout of the new facility will be submitted to the council in the coming months.
Richard Smith, managing director of Opus Land said: “This is a major distribution centre for Lidl and will bring a wide range of benefits to the borough of Sandwell.”
Gareth Williams, director at St Francis Group said: “We’ve always known Opus Blueprint is an excellent site with fantastic potential. It was always our intention to attract a single large user so we couldn’t be happier to see Lidl move onto the site. This deal will provide Lidl with a great location for its distribution centre which in turn will help boost the economy in Sandwell.”