Work has started on a new national distribution centre which will be occupied by the largest tenant to date at Lancashire’s £50m Burnley Bridge Business Park.
The 543,620 square foot centre is to be used by Exertis, one of Europe’s largest and fastest-growing technology distribution and specialist service providers. Site work follows the company concluding what is believed to be the biggest distribution deal in the north-west so far this year with Eshton, the Leeds-based property investment and development specialist delivering the park.
Eshton has appointed construction group Bowmer & Kirkland to build the centre to Exertis’ specifications.
Due for completion in May 2016, the building will contain a 433,946 square foot warehouse, two mezzanine floors totalling 66,478 square feet and 43,196 square feet of office space. It is anticipated that 510 Exertis staff, currently based seven miles away at Altham Business Park, near Accrington, will re=locate to the site with this number increasing to 800 staff when the site is fully operational, which is expected to be by early 2017.
The deal between Eshton and Exertis includes additional land, providing scope to extend the premises by 200,000 square feet in the future.
Exertis, which has other existing UK facilities in Raunds, Northamptonshire and Elland, West Yorkshire, partners with 350 global technology brands and over 14,000 resellers, e-commerce operators and retailers across Europe. It recorded turnover of £2.3bn and grew by over 22 per cent in the last full financial year.
Gerry O’Keefe, Exertis UK and Ireland managing director, said: “We’re very excited to see work under way at Burnley Bridge Business Park. The new centre will greatly assist us in our mission of helping customer and vendor partners access an ever-improving range of services and opportunities, which drive their businesses forward, by allowing us to continue expanding our distribution operations.”
Launched 18 months ago, Government-backed Burnley Business Park is a strategic 70-acre development, at Junction 9 of the M65. When complete, it will provide 680,000 square feet of industrial and distribution space, offering units from 2,000 square feet upwards, and is expected to create 1,400 jobs.
Gary Bradley, divisional director, Bowmer & Kirkland, said: “We’re delighted now to be on-site and getting works underway. Construction of the building will be delivered locally through specialist teams and we are looking forward to showing Eshton and Exertis how we’ll turn their new distribution centre from vision to reality.”
Initially, two speculatively-built developments were completed at Burnley Bridge Business Park, the 64,100 square foot Cobalt Building and 39,000 square foot Magnesium Court. It was always intended, however, that further properties would be built at the site to tenants’ specifications.
James Chapman, managing director, Eshton, said: “It’s great to see construction of the Exertis distribution centre underway. This is physical proof not only of Burnley Bridge Business Park’s potential but how the commercial property sector is bouncing back. We are experiencing a surge in enquiries, which reflects the increasing demand in the area for high quality space and excellent links to the motorway network.”
Existing occupants at Burnley Bridge Business Park include: catering wholesaler Birchall Food Service; Townsend Music, which provides distribution, fulfilment, merchandise and printing services; general builder, electrical contractor and ground works specialist Equinox Building Services; and YESSS Electrical, the wholesale electrical supplies, service and solutions provider.
Cllr Mark Townsend, leader, Burnley Borough Council, said: “We’re relishing the prospect of welcoming Exertis to the town and delighted to be hosting Burnley Bridge Business Park, the largest new commercial development on the M65 corridor for over 10 years. We’re not surprised at the continuing strong demand for space at the site, given the area’s strengths such as its enterprising spirit, outstanding logistical connections and large labour pool.”