Construction complete at The Range warehouse in Suffolk

Retailer The Range has unveiled its new 1.17 million ft² warehouse at the Gateway 14 scheme in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

The planned development was announced in June 2022 and in October 2022, detailed planning consent for the unit was granted. One year on in October 2023, Logistics Manager reported that Investec Real Estate had provided Norton Group with an £80 million financing package for the distribution centre’s development.

This building achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification. Sustainability features include 20% active and 20% passive EV charging points, “ultra-high efficiency LED lighting”, and roof-mounted photovoltaics. Additionally, it is set to benefit from major water leak detection and a rainwater harvesting system.

BREEAM ‘Very Good’ is being targeted for Gateway 14 as a whole and “will strive for ‘Excellent’ wherever possible as well as delivering low-carbon and net-zero solutions”.

Chief Executive of The Range Alex Simpkin commented: “We are thrilled to receive the keys to this best-in-class distribution centre, which is a key milestone in The Range’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiency, streamlining logistics and supporting the expansion of our retail store network and website in the UK.

“It’s fantastic that the project is being delivered on time enabling us to press forward and create much-needed jobs for the local area at a time when they are needed the most. This site will support us in our goal of delivering an ever-expanding range of high-quality, value-for-money products for the public through our growing store portfolio and multichannel offerings.”

The Range is the first business to occupy a facility at Gateway 14. Aside from this new distribution centre, the scheme is comprised of four ‘zones’.

‘Zone 1’ measures at 36 acres and will comprise buildings of 20,000 to 640,000ft², while the 17-acre ‘Zone 2’ will have buildings from 20,000 to 316,000ft². A planning application has been submitted for a 164,796ft² facility in the 8.9-acre ‘Zone 3’ and a final eight acres are reserved for ‘Zone 4’: an innovation zone with buildings ranging from 20,000 to 135,000ft² in size. As well as offices, buildings in Zone 4 will be dedicated to research & development and advanced manufacturing.

Sir Christopher Haworth, Chair of Gateway 14, said: “This is a great day for Stowmarket and the surrounding region. Not only does it bring over 1,600 jobs to this prime location, but it also delivers the first building on the new highly sustainable, mixed-use Gateway 14 development, set in an attractive parkland setting.

“We already have further strong interest in the park and expect to be able to identify new occupiers in the near future.”

Gateway 14 is part of Freeport East, which has different economic regulations to most of the UK. Benefits include “tax reliefs and simplified customs arrangements”.

Steve Beel, Chief Executive of Freeport East, said: “This a landmark first development for Freeport East but the first of many. Bringing a diverse range of new business operations into the Freeport East area will strengthen and diversify our local economy and provide a range of opportunities for local people.

“With 100% of all the business rates collected at Gateway 14 being recycled into local growth priorities, it means that this major development will also drive benefit across local communities, such as supporting our new Innovation & Skills Fund and supporting local businesses to innovate and grow.”

Joint agents for Gateway 14 are Savills and Avison Young.

Source: logisticsmanager.com

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