Amazon shops for 1.2m sq ft in Widnes

The online retailer is in advanced talks with developer Prologis and Halton Council to build a new distribution centre at the Mersey Multimodal Gateway industrial park – in arguably the biggest ever shed deal in the North West.

Prologis recently submitted a planning application for the giant shed and was part of a team that won £9m in Regional Growth Funding in April from the government, along with neighbour Stobart and Halton Council.

The £46m shed will be served by rail and road and the RGF money will be used to cover the cost of the infrastructure work needed.

Halton Council, advised by surveyor Savills, is selling the site to Prologis to pave the way for the deal, which could create up to 1,000 jobs. The terms of the deal between Prologis and Amazon have not been disclosed. Agents said the shed would take around 18 months to build.

3MG is already home to a 528,000 sq ft chilled warehouse for Tesco, developed by Stobart.

If and when it is completed, the Amazon deal will be a major coup for Halton and Widnes, putting the 3MG site firmly on the UK distribution map.

Amazon is active across the country as it takes advantage of the buyers' market while it lasts; recently agreeing a deal with a joint venture between Gazeley and Metlife for 700,000 sq ft in Rugeley, Staffordshire. At the start of 2011, HSBC said it would fund a 1m sq ft shed for Amazon in Dunfermline, Scotland.

Prologis and Amazon both use in-house surveying teams. All parties declined to comment.

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