Hundreds of jobs to be created in 'largest ever' warehouse deal in West Suffolk as fashion brand expands into UK
A massive warehouse is to be built at a Bury St Edmunds business park to allow a 'major fashion brand' to expand into the UK market.
The Weerts Group, a logistics, real estate and motor racing company based in Belgium, has bought more than 42 acres of land for a new 870,000 sq ft warehouse at Suffolk Park.
Suffolk Park developer Jaynic said it is the 'largest ever' warehouse deal in West Suffolk, and combined with another warehouse sale earlier this year, will bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
The developer said Weerts has bought the land to 'help its client, a major fashion brand, expand into the UK market' but the brand has yet to be revealed.
It has chosen Suffolk Park because of its proximity to the Felixstowe ferry connection with the European continent and to Junction 45 of the A14.
Ben Oughton, development director of Jaynic, said: "This is a very significant deal for Suffolk Park, Suffolk and East Anglia.
"This transaction with Weerts Group comes swiftly on the heels of the sale of our SP206 unit to Chinese consumer goods importer M H Star and re-affirms the rapidly increasing popularity of the A14 as a logistics location.
"In under six months these two transactions amount to 1.1m sq ft of warehousing and the creation of around 700 jobs for the local economy."
Weerts Group's headquarters are in Liège, Belgium and has operations in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Hungary and Romania.
In 2017, it expanded its operations after buying the in-house logistics of the Audi manufacturing plant in Brussels, where it is preparing for the construction of the first full electric vehicle of the Audi group.
Pascal Weerts, CEO of Weerts Group, said: “We are delighted to support one of our biggest clients in their international growth and expansion by setting up our first important warehousing facility in the UK, and to have attracted a solid financial partner (Blackstone) to secure the funding of the land acquisition and the development.
"Being a family-owned structure, our mission is to build engines for value creation.
"Our independence and entrepreneurial spirit allow us quickly to spot and seize opportunities, and our expertise as logistics operator allows us to develop logistics projects that are perfectly designed to meet the standards that our clients expect, on the best locations."
A detailed planning application has been submitted to West Suffolk Council with the aim to develop the warehouse in two phases with a first phase of 476,000 sq ft to be completed in summer 2021 and the second phase following immediately.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We welcome this new investment and the creation of new jobs here in West Suffolk helping to deliver the vision that the council worked so hard to achieve when it set out to create the Suffolk Business Park.”
Richard Pyatt, a director of Hazells Chartered Surveyors, added: "Acting on behalf of Jaynic we were delighted to introduce Weerts Group to Suffolk Park and assist in the negotiations for this transaction.
"This is a stellar example of the increasing demand from major logistics companies who see Felixstowe and the A14 as an alternative to the Kent ports for their links to the European continent.
"Securing a major occupier of this nature represents a significant boost for the local economy in Bury St Edmunds and underlines Suffolk Park as the pre-eminent logistics park in the region."
Meanwhile,the 112,000 sq ft first phase of Treatt Plc’s new global headquarters at Suffolk Park 'is due for completion imminently'.
The 114-acre Suffolk Park has outline planning consent for 2 million sq ft of business, distribution, and industrial space.