Fit-out of Tesco’s Widnes distribution warehouse finished

Michael Hunt

Pochin Construction has completed a £16m fit-out for Tesco's new chilled distribution and recycling centre in Widnes.

The company was originally appointed in 2009 to construct the 350,000 sq ft chilled distribution store and a 134,000 sq ft recycling services centre on behalf of The Stobart Group in a contract worth £22m.

The Stobart Group subsequently leased the space to Tesco in February, at which point Pochin was instructed to carry out the fit-out to the premises in a separate contract with the tenant worth £16m.

The chilled distribution centre was split up into sections to incorporate the necessary controlled temperatures. The fit-out also included the creation of three separate offices, including a 'Goods-in' office, a 'Goods-out' office and a first floor mezzanine office, which also contains canteen facilities for a 600-strong workforce soon to be employed on the site. The recycling centre also required the construction of a separate office and canteen area as well as welfare facilities.

Tony Quick, project manager for Pochin Construction, said: "Winning the original contract and then subsequently being awarded the fit-out project by an organisation such as Tesco demonstrates our ability to deliver complex builds to the best specification and to budget.

"This was a very specific fit-out and we worked closely with Tesco to meet their exacting requirements. The design worked so well in fact that Tesco has chosen the same specification and layout for their site in Avonmouth, near Bristol."

Tesco is relocating its North West fresh food operation from a 298,820 sq ft warehouse on the Stakehill Industrial Estate in Middleton.

The supermarket giant said the 20 year old Middleton warehouse was too small and the site did not have enough room to expand.

Tesco Distribution signed a 35-year lease on the Middleton distribution centre, which still has 14 years to run, after the freehold was bought for £28m by the Starion Group from Prupim.

The move by Tesco has meant logistics giant Eddie Stobart, part of Stobart Group, has taken over a distribution contract from Wincanton.

The chilled distribution facility in Widnes is part of the Mersey Multimodal Gateway, 3MG, which Stobart sold for £61m cash in March to Legal & General Assurance, as part of a sale and leaseback of the inland port.

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