Marks & Spencer

M&S officially open £67m 1.1 million sq ft distribution centre on ProLogis Park Bradford.

The centre was opened by Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman of Marks & Spencer, and the Leader of Bradford Council, Councillor Ian Greenwood.

The largest warehouse in the M&S network and one of the biggest in the UK, it will serve all M&S stores with furniture products and store equipment (e.g. racking) and, next year, ambient food (non-refrigerated food, e.g. biscuits, cereal, tins).

The centre took 205 working days to build and will employ over 1,200 people when it is fully operational. It has been developed with Plan A (M&S’ eco and ethical plan) in mind. The building is carbon neutral, has achieved BREEAM (the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings) Excellent and M&S has invested in a nature programme surrounding the site which has seen nearly 400 native trees planted, the creation of two ponds and new wetland areas.

Darrell Stein, M&S’ Logistics and IT Director, said: “This is an exciting day for our business. Bradford will deliver better service and better availability for our customers and it is a key part of our strategy to prepare our supply chain for the future. As an area, Bradford has fantastic transport links, a rich pool of resource and talent and has provided us with the support to deliver a facility to be proud of. We’re delighted to be here and look forward to a bright future in West Yorkshire.”

Councillor David Green, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “We welcome the launch of the Marks & Spencer distribution centre and acknowledge that the official opening of the first site at ProLogis Park represents an important landmark in the district’s regeneration.

“This site will provide hundreds of jobs for residents, contribute millions of pounds to our economy over many years and act as a catalyst for further growth.”

“Marks & Spencer’s choice of Bradford is clear evidence of the district’s ability to provide the infrastructure and skills required by market-leading businesses.”

The warehouse is part of ProLogis Park, a 90 acre business site that is currently being developed by US company ProLogis. There are plans to create a further 1,000 jobs at a range of business and enterprise units for small to medium-sized businesses. In addition, 145 houses are being built on the eastern part of the site.

Phase 2 provides a 11.2 acre site with scope for another 250,000 sq ft distribution facility.

Prologis’s Managing director, Andrew Griffiths, “We are actively seeking interested parties to help us create more jobs in the area, we are keen to further participate in the regeneration of the Bradford area.”.

Facts about the new Bradford distribution centre:

– You can fit 12 Wembley pitches or 15 Valley Parade pitches inside;

– It’s a one mile walk around the outside of the building;

– Around one sixth of the population live within an hour of the site;

– You would need approximately 140 billion Percy Pigs to fill the warehouse;

– There are 134 doors for lorries to access loading bays;

– 3,500 tons of steel were used in the building’s frame;

– Under the service yard there is a 2.1m diameter rainwater storage tank which is 1200m long. When full it holds four million litres of water;

– The sprinkler system has 50,000 individual sprinkler heads.

Dove Haigh Phillips are development advisors to Prologis on the site.