Harworth Estates has secured the second occupier and begun construction work at its 4m sq ft Logistics North industrial development in Bolton.
MBDA, a major defence supplier, has acquired an eight-acre site for the development of a new 100,000 sq ft facility. MBDA will move to this new facility, which will combine manufacturing space with offices, from its current base at Lostock, Bolton.
MBDA joins Aldi, the supermarket group, which last year signed a lease for its new 600,000 sq ft regional distribution hub.
Planning permission for Logistics North, on the former Cutacre opencast coal mine, was granted outline planning consent in December 2013.
Construction work has started at the 250-acre site by junction 4 of the M61. Bolton-based AE Yates has been appointed as lead contractor for the construction of the site's spine road and associated infrastructure, which will open up both Aldi's and MBDA's plots. Barnsley-based Braithwaite Excavations is also on site, preparing land to facilitate both facilities. Construction of Aldi's unit has already commenced, with MBDA's to follow shortly.
Harworth will also create a new country park for the benefit of local people on 550 acres of surrounding land. The park will offer footpaths, bridleways, cycleways along with wildlife and woodland areas and will become a key piece of community infrastructure for the local community for years to come.
Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth Estates, said: "Our scheme will make a significant contribution to the North West's economy. The progress we have made reflects our expertise at regenerating large, former mining sites.
"We enjoy significant support from Bolton Council in bringing this forward. Without their strong leadership and commitment we would not now be on site undertaking construction work."
Phil Wilson, executive director of Harworth Estates, said: "The deals with MBDA and Aldi reflect the strength of demand for high-quality industrial space in the North West.
"Logistics North is one of the North West's most significant new developments and with the start of construction now underway we look forward to attracting more high-calibre occupiers to the site."
Cllr Ebrahim Adia, Bolton Council's executive cabinet member for regeneration and resources, said: "This is great news for Bolton because we've retained a key employer in the town and importantly they have the potential to grow.
"Logistics North is a site of huge importance for Bolton in terms of our economic strategy and it will also make a significant contribution to the success of the North West's economy."
Bernard Waldron, director of manufacturing for MBDA UK, said "The acquisition of the site is a major step in our plans and we can now move on to the next stage of preparing the ground works in this important and exciting development for MBDA and its employees. This new site is reinforcing both our foundation in the Bolton local economy and community and the future of our manufacturing capability."
Harworth's agents at Logistics North are JLL and DTZ, which also acted as planning consultant. Strutt & Parker advised MBDA.