MORE than 400 jobs are to be created in the North East at a warehouse distributing clothes for supermarket chain Asda.
The retailer and Leeds-based Clipper Logistics are investing around £15m in the warehouse for the George brand of clothing at Wynyard Park near Stockton.
It is estimated that between 400 and 500 people will be employed on the site once it becomes fully operational – scheduled for September next year – and many other jobs will be created during construction.
Coun Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, said: “It is fantastic to see such significant investment from yet another major company, bringing with it hundreds of new jobs.
“Our borough has so much to offer businesses and we are working closely with our private-sector partners to raise its profile and attract new business development.
“Announcements such as this are supporting our vision for the ongoing regeneration of Stockton Borough and the wider Tees Valley.”
The development, one of the largest pre-let industrial deals in the North East for years, is a joint venture between British Airways Pension Trustees Limited and Sladen Estates Ltd.
Bosses at the 700-acre Wynyard business park are delighted to have secured the development after Clipper previously considered taking it to the Amazon Business Park in Newton Aycliffe, where Hitachi is building a train factory next year which will create around 600 jobs.
At the time of the announcement of the Hitachi deal, Merchant Place Developments, the developers of Amazon Park, said that negotiations for a further 350,000sq ft pre-let were well advanced.
Wynyard Park managing director Paul Barber said: “We are delighted that Wynyard Park has been chosen as the site for this development as it will bring huge benefits to the local area, both in terms of jobs and investment.
“I’m sure that our prime location with easy access to the main road network, including the A19 and A1, was a key consideration, along with the range of support services that we offer.”
Earlier this year, Huntsman, one of the world’s leading chemical companies, announced plans to create a new global business centre for its pigments division at Wynyard Park, relocating around 300 staff from Wilton and Haverton Hill.
Barber added: “This development caps a strong year for Wynyard Park which is a remarkable achievement given the state of the global economy. We have achieved some notable successes in terms of attracting new companies.”
Tony Mannix, managing director of Clipper Logistics, said: “Wynyard Park offers an excellent location for the new facility and we have been working with Sladen Estates over the last six months to ensure the building is designed to meet all of our needs.
“The unit will initially serve the needs of one of our major clients, George at Asda, and will then be further developed to accommodate other shared-use customers.”