A FURTHER 300 jobs look set to be created in a new distribution warehouse on land next to the soon-to-be built Hitachi train factory, it emerged last night.
The Journal understands that Leeds-based Clipper Logistics, representing Asda, is close to signing a deal to take a 350,000 square foot warehouse at Amazon Business Park, Newton Aycliffe.
This will be a second major jobs’ boost for the region, just a few weeks after Hitachi unveiled plans to establish a new train building factory, employing 600 people at the site.
Journal sources say Clipper had been looking at the region for some time for a logistics centre for the George at Asda range, and had previously considered the Wynyard Business Park, near Hartlepool.
However the momentum generated by the Hitachi deal, the site’s proximity to the A1 and the presence of a similar Lidl logistics facility nearby has seen it favour Amazon for the £10m development.
At the time of the announcement of the Hitachi deal Merchant Place Developments (MPD), the developers of Amazon Park, said that negotiations for a further 350,000sqft pre-let were “well advanced”. The proposed Asda development would be to the north of the planned Hitachi plant.
Neither Clipper nor Newcastle-based Merchant Place Developments were prepared to comment on the proposals last night. But contractors are currently understood to be bidding on the construction project for Clipper and it is understood the deal is just weeks from being signed. Merchant Place Developments owns the 104-acre business park in conjunction with Durham County Council.
The county council had earmarked Amazon Park as a strategic site for inward investment and it has had planning permission for some five years.
The 450,000sqft train assembly building will be provided for Hitachi as a key project for the business park. Amazon Park is earmarked for potential developments of up to 1.4m sqft and these developments will leave room for further builds.
Earlier this month the Government gave the go-ahead to the £4.5bn Intercity Express Project and Agility trains High Speed rail proposals. Hitachi Rail Europe, the lead partner of the Agility trains consortium said it will locate its UK train factory at Amazon Park, Newton Aycliffe.
Under a 30-year deal, Agility trains will produce and maintain a new fleet of high-speed trains creating 600 jobs at the factory and 1,000 in the supply chain.