Home, garden and leisure products retailer The Range is to occupy a high quality, sustainable logistics unit of approaching 1.2m sq. ft. on the Freeport East Gateway 14 site.
Conditional contracts have been exchanged to develop the distribution unit on a freehold turnkey basis with Gateway 14 Ltd which is wholly Mid Suffolk District Council, a partner of Freeport East, and be being delivered by Jaynic.
Commenting on the latest milestone in Freeport East’s development, George Kieffer, Acting Chairman of Freeport East, said:
“The unique location of Freeport East, close to some of the world’s major international shipping routes, provides a range of benefits to businesses which locate here. Freeport East is focused upon value-added logistics, advanced manufacturing and the clean energy sectors and we are delighted to welcome The Range as the first of what will be many businesses to commit to the Freeport.”
The Range is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. It has over 200 retail stores nationwide and more than 65,000 products across 16 different departments from Homeware and Furniture to DIY and Art Supplies. A further 100+ retail stores are planned in the coming five years, in addition to its growing online presence. The Range already has two existing major distribution centres in the UK and the new site will help meet consumer demand in the South and South East of the country while also supporting operations across the UK.“Alex Simpkin, CEO at The Range, said:
“This acquisition represents a £200m investment and is integral to our expansion plans. We were naturally attracted to the site due to its commitment to sustainability and proximity to the East coast container port of Felixstowe. The Freeport benefits that Gateway 14 provides allows us to evolve our ecommerce division nationwide and accelerate store growth.”Sir Christopher Haworth, chair, Gateway 14 Ltd commented:
“Welcoming The Range to Gateway 14 is a significant step forward for the site and demonstrates its important position in Suffolk and the wider Eastern region. Gateway 14 has huge potential not only for nationally important brands like The Range, but also to support local and small businesses.”
Cllr Suzie Morley, leader, Mid Suffolk District Council said:
“Working in partnership with renowned home and leisure retailer, The Range, will provide a huge boost to Gateway 14 and will create a considerable number of new jobs for local people. As the development continues, I look forward to welcoming more businesses to the site.”
Ben Oughton, Development Director of Jaynic, said:
“Securing such a significant first occupier, only months after we started building the infra-structure at Gateway 14, demonstrates how important a location the A14 corridor has become, and is borne out by the huge interest there is in Gateway 14, with its Freeport benefits and proximity to Felixstowe.”
Gateway 14 is one of three sites in Freeport East which benefit from a suite of tax and customs benefits. It already has outline planning consent for a 2.36m sq. ft. mixed-use innovation, business and warehousing scheme, and construction of the site infrastructure is already well underway.
The landmark development will provide high specification buildings with sustainability a central feature including EV charging, LED lighting, solar PV, smart energy systems and rainwater harvesting. The new distribution facility will be designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard of development.
Accessibility through and around the development is a key feature with significant walking and cycling routes being integrated along with access to public transport links and local amenities.
Biodiversity on the site is also a priority, with high-quality landscaping, green corridors and nesting boxes all being introduced across the site to support not only the wildlife and ecology but also to create a vibrant, attractive, and healthy working environment for employees. Gateway 14 offers a prime location for manufacturing and logistics with its position along the A14 providing easy access to Ipswich, Cambridge and up to the Midlands as well as to the Port of Felixstowe.