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Developers celebrate West Suffolk’s ‘biggest warehouse deal’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 03 November 2020

A digital impression of what the aerial view of Suffolk Park will look like with the Weerts Group warehouse  Picture: JAYNIC

A digital impression of what the aerial view of Suffolk Park will look like with the Weerts Group warehouse Picture: JAYNIC

Jaynic

An enormous warehouse measuring 870,000sq ft is set to take shape along the A14 at Bury St Edmunds.

Jaynic development director Ben Oughton  Picture: REBECCA BACONJaynic development director Ben Oughton Picture: REBECCA BACON

Belgian logistics, property and motor-racing company Weerts Group has chosen Suffolk Park as the location for its first UK warehouse.

It has secured just over 42 acres from developer Jaynic for its new logistics unit.

It’s the largest ever warehouse transaction to be undertaken in Bury St Edmunds and the West Suffolk region bringing major new investment and jobs to the region, said Jaynic.

MORE – ‘Tremendous news’ as importer chooses Suffolk site for growing network

The facility will be developed in two phases with a first phase of 476,000sq ft to be completed in summer 2021 by Jaynic and the second phase to begin immediately after.

Pascal Weerts, chief executive of Belgium-based Weerts Group, which is setting up its first warehousing facility in the UK in Bury St Edmunds  Picture: JELLE VANSPascal Weerts, chief executive of Belgium-based Weerts Group, which is setting up its first warehousing facility in the UK in Bury St Edmunds Picture: JELLE VANS

A detailed planning application has just been submitted to West Suffolk Council.

Weerts chose Suffolk Park because of its closeness to Felixstowe’s roll-on, roll-off ferry connection with the European continent and its proximity to Junction 45 of the A14 providing fast links into the UK motorway network.

Jaynic development director Ben Oughton 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.”

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Weerts Group is based in Liège and has operations across Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Hungary and Romania.

Its General Logistics Services arm provides warehousing, transport and value-add logistics services.

In 2017, it significantly expanded its operations through the acquisition of the in-house logistics of the 65,000sq m Audi manufacturing plant in Brussels. It is actively involved in preparing for the construction of the Audi group’s first fully electric vehicle.

Pascal Weerts, chief executvie 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 to secure the funding of the land acquisition and the development (Blackstone).

“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.”

West Suffolk Council leader John Griffiths welcomed the new investment and the creation of new jobs.

Richard Pyatt, a director of Hazells Chartered Surveyors, which acted on behalf of Jaynic, said they were delighted to assist in the negotiations.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Also taking shape at Suffolk Park is the first phase of ingredients firm Treatt plc’s 112,000sq ft global headquarters, also being built by Jaynic and due to be completed imminently. The 114-acre Suffolk Park has outline planning consent for 2 million sq ft of business, distribution, and industrial space.


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