Liverpool Vision to provide B&M Retail with £1.75m grant

Michael Hunt

Blackpool-based B&M Retail's move into The Vault, on Liverpool International Business Park, will create 200 office jobs and 400 warehouse, packing and distribution jobs.

B&M Retail, which trades as B&M Bargains, bought the 611,000 sq ft distribution centre in Speke last week [as first revealed in Place 13.10.2009] and will carry out an £8m investment programme to bring the building up to its operating requirements.

Dependent upon the number of jobs ultimately created, Liverpool Vision, the economic development agency for the city, will provide up to £1.75m in grant funding for the operation.

Jim Gill, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: "This is a very significant investment in Liverpool by one of the country's fastest growing retailers and underlines the attraction of Liverpool as a business destination.

"B&M Retail's investment in the city will create jobs for people in Liverpool. The company will work with the Liverpool JET service to ensure that as many jobs as possible are available to and taken up by local residents."

B&M Retail began trading 30 years ago. By 2005, when it was bought by brothers Bobby and Simon Arora, the company had 21 stores and an annual turnover of £65m. Since then the company has grown to annual turnover of £255m through 135 stores which attract more than a million customers each week.

Simon Arora, joint managing director, said: "We have invested heavily in the business and have seen four years of excellent growth, but in order to compete even more effectively in the national market and to develop the business further we needed to find a centre more geographically suited to our distribution needs.

"After looking at a large number of potential sites we have decided that Liverpool was the outstanding option. A decisive factor was not only the quality of business environment but also the proximity to the docks reflecting Liverpool's position as an international freight gateway.

"We are looking forward to working with Liverpool Vision, the Liverpool JET service and others to ensure that the move is a great success for the business and for the people of Liverpool."

B&M Retail intends to begin on site immediately and to have the headquarters and distribution centre operational by Christmas.

Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of The Mersey Partnership, which facilitated preliminary discussions between the investors and Liverpool Vision, said: "B&M Retail was considering other locations outside the north west for this investment. TMP prepared and pitched the business case for investing in Liverpool City Region based on cost-competitiveness and available premises.

"B&M Retail is a fast-growing, ambitious business in a growing market. We believe the company will be a significant asset to the City Region and we warmly welcome this major investment."

Your Comments

I do think the management deserve a real good crack of the whip at the new warehouse as they have always and will continue to do a stirling job with the employees’ best interests at heart. Glen Dave and Kevin

By Glen

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