Waitrose continues expansion with Leyland warehouse

Simon Donohue

A new £35m Waitrose regional distribution centre will open on the Matrix business park in Leyland this week.

Comprising 360,000 sq ft of warehouse space and 50,000 sq ft of offices, the warehouse will initially employ 300 people and service 42 branches across the North of England and Scotland.

David Jones, Waitrose supply chain director, said: "Everything is now in place for us to hit the ground running. We've got a highly skilled workforce that will ensure we can efficiently service 44 stores within just six months."

Eight years ago, Waitrose did not have any stores north of Newark in Nottinghamshire. It now has ten stores in the north west of England, four in the North East, seven in Yorkshire and has just secured planning consent for its seventh shop in Scotland, which will open in Milngavie next year.

Waitrose first announced its plans for Leyland in March 2011 after reaching an agreement with Evander Properties and British Airways Pension Fund to develop and lease the 30-acre warehouse site in Leyland.

The brownfield site, a former BAE defence systems site, has received investment totalling nearly £35m.

Evander Properties developed the new buildings with funding from British Airways Pension Fund before they were fitted out by Waitrose with the warehouse and picking equipment.

Waitrose has an agreement to lease the site from BA Pension Fund for 30 years

The Matrix business park at Buckshaw Village is a joint development by Harrow Estates and Wilson Bowden Developments. Joint agents are DTZ and Jones Lang LaSalle.

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