Work has started on a new logistics hub that is set to bring up to 2,000 jobs for the region.
The £210 million hi-tech distribution facility for online food retailer Ocado Group, at IM Properties’ Birch Coppice Business Park in Dordon in North Warwickshire, is being built by construction firm Bowmer & Kirkland and is due to be completed in late 2012. The 350,000 sq ft site will be able to process 120,000 orders per week, rising to 180,000.
The ceremony to break the ground at the second of what the company calls its Customer Fulfilment Centres was led by Ocado’s chief executive Tim Steiner.
He said: “We have a first class team working on the new state of the art CFC, who will help ensure that this innovative project keeps well on track. Ocado is entering a major new phase of development and expansion, which is incredibly exciting. We look forward to seeing our second CFC take shape over the coming months and being part of the local community.”
Ocado’s groundbreaking ceremony was also attended by Robert Kirkland, group director at Bowmer & Kirkland; Kevin Ashfield, development manager at Birch Coppice owner IM Properties; and Dordon councillor Peter Morson.
Coun Morson said: “Ocado is a major online food retailer and its arrival in the area will provide a vital boost to the local community and economy. It joins a number of major companies already on the Birch Coppice site, a site which continues to develop.
“Birch Coppice will offer a lot of great opportunities for local people and local business in the months and years ahead.”
Mr Kirkland added: “We are really looking forward to the build ahead. Ocado’s Customer Fulfilment Centre is one of the largest and most high-profile distribution centres currently being built in the UK; it represents a unique opportunity to further enhance our reputation and expertise in the distribution field. Our dedicated team will work hard to deliver everything Ocado needs.”
The construction of Ocado’s second hub will involve 38 weeks of build time, at which point work will already have commenced on installing the facility’s extensive, multi-level conveyor-belt networks and sophisticated IT systems.