The Range is to occupy 1.17m sq ft on the Gateway 14 scheme at Junction 50 of the A14, in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Gateway 14 Ltd, wholly owned by Mid Suffolk District Council, has exchanged conditional contracts to develop the distribution unit with its development partner Jaynic, on a freehold turnkey basis.
The Range is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the UK; having 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.
A reserved matters application is to be submitted in July with a proposed start on site in January 2023 and practical completion in the Autumn of 2023.
Gateway 14 already has outline planning consent for a 2.36m sq ft mixed-use innovation, business and warehousing scheme, and construction of the sites infrastructure is already well underway.
It will make a major contribution to the local and regional economy creating an estimated 1,650 new jobs in the area.
Alex Simpkin, CEO of 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 e-commerce division nationwide and accelerate store growth.”
Sir Christopher Haworth, chair, Gateway 14 Ltd said: “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 of 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 infrastructure 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 part of the new low tax, low regulation zone of Freeport East. The government’s Freeports initiative allows firms to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules.
Businesses located at Gateway 14 will benefit from being part of Freeport East, one of only eight Freeports in the UK.
The Freeport status will provide many businesses on Gateway 14 with a range of benefits including a suite of tax reliefs and simplified customs arrangements.
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 focussed 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.”
Agents for the scheme are Avison Young and Savills.
Image source: Jaynic
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