Home, garden and leisure products retailer The Range is to occupy a high quality, sustainable logistics unit of approaching 1.2m sq. ft. on the Freeport East Gateway 14 site.
Conditional contracts have been exchanged to develop the distribution unit on a freehold turnkey basis with Jaynic, the development partner for Gateway 14 Ltd which is wholly owned by Freeport East partner Mid Suffolk District Council.
Commenting on the latest milestone in Freeport East’s development, George Kieffer, Acting Chairman of Freeport East, said:
“The unique location of Freeport East, close to some of the world’s major international shipping routes, provides a range of benefits to businesses which locate here. Freeport East is focused upon value-added logistics, advanced manufacturing and the clean energy sectors and we are delighted to welcome The Range as the first of what will be many businesses to commit to the Freeport.”
The Range is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. It has over 200 retail stores nationwide and more than 65,000 products across 16 different departments from Homeware and Furniture to DIY and Art Supplies. It has two existing major distribution centres and the site at Freeport East Gateway 14 will be the third and final piece in the jigsaw of its associated distribution network to service the south/south east. In addition, a further 100+ retail stores are planned across the UK as well as growing its on-line presence.
Alex Simpkin, CEO at The Range, said:
“This acquisition represents a £200m investment and is integral to our expansion plans. We were naturally attracted to the site due to its commitment to sustainability and proximity to the East coast container port of Felixstowe. The Freeport benefits that Gateway 14 provides allows us to evolve our ecommerce division nationwide and accelerate store growth"
Sir Christopher Haworth, Chair Gateway 14 Ltd, commented:
“Welcoming The Range to Gateway 14 is a significant step forward for the site and demonstrates its important position in Suffolk and the wider Eastern region. Gateway 14 has huge potential not only for nationally important brands like The Range, but also to support local and small businesses.”
Ben Oughton, Development Director of Jaynic, said:
“Securing such a significant first occupier, only months after we started building the infra-structure at Gateway 14, demonstrates how important a location the A14 corridor has become, and is borne out by the huge interest there is in Gateway 14, with its Freeport benefits and proximity to Felixstowe.”
Gateway 14 is one of three sites in Freeport East which benefit from a suite of tax and customs benefits. It already has outline planning consent for a 2.36m sq. ft. mixed-use innovation, business and warehousing scheme, and construction of the site infrastructure is already well underway.
The landmark development will provide high specification buildings with sustainability a central feature including EV charging, LED lighting, solar PV, smart energy systems and rainwater harvesting. The new distribution facility will be designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard of development.
Accessibility through and around the development is a key feature with significant walking and cycling routes being integrated along with access to public transport links and local amenities.
Biodiversity on the site is also a priority, with high-quality landscaping, green corridors and nesting boxes all being introduced across the site to support not only the wildlife and ecology but also to create a vibrant, attractive, and healthy working environment for employees. Gateway 14 offers a prime location for manufacturing and logistics with its position along the A14 providing easy access to Ipswich, Cambridge and up to the Midlands as well as to the Port of Felixstowe.
Notes to Editors:
Freeport East is one of eight new Freeports in England announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021. It will be a hub for global trade and national regeneration as well as creating a hotbed for innovation that will have impact across the UK.
With its unique global links and existing innovative sectoral clusters, Freeport East will attract inward international investment and drive domestic growth, propelling the country’s economy forward.
Covering Britain’s busiest container port, two major ferry ports and located close to the East Coast green energy cluster, Freeport East offers a unique combination of advantages to benefit traders, manufacturers and clean energy suppliers. It will create 13,500 new jobs and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £5.5 billion over 10 years.