A new 1.17 million square foot warehouse was unveiled to local dignitaries today (Tuesday, 21st November) at Gateway 14, the new state-of-the-art business, innovation, and logistics park near junction 50 of the A14 at Stowmarket.
The building, a new distribution centre for garden and leisure retailer The Range, has been completed by Gateway 14 Ltd – a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid Suffolk District Council, with development partner Jaynic, and undertaken by contractor Winvic Construction Ltd.
Gateway 14 Chair, Sir Christopher Haworth, said: “This is a great day for Stowmarket and the surrounding region. Not only does it bring over 1,600 jobs to this prime location, but it also delivers the first building on the new highly sustainable, mixed-use Gateway 14 development, set in an attractive parkland setting. We already have further strong interest in the park and expect to be able to identify new occupiers in the near future.”
Mid Suffolk District Council leader Cllr Andrew Mellen said: “Completion of this building is a significant milestone for Gateway 14 and Mid Suffolk. By bringing its operations to Stowmarket, The Range is creating hundreds of new jobs for the region and providing a boost for the local economy.
“It is also the first business to come to Gateway 14 – with the site taking shape as a major landmark for business and innovation in the east. I am really pleased that the building has been constructed with high environmental standards, as we want this whole development to be an exemplar of good, sustainable practice.”
Alex Simpkin, CEO at The Range, said: “We are thrilled to receive the keys to this best-in-class distribution centre, which is a key milestone in The Range’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiency, streamlining logistics and supporting the expansion of our retail store network and website in the UK.
“It’s fantastic that the project is being delivered on time enabling us to press forward and create much-needed jobs for the local area at a time when they are needed the most.
“This site will support us in our goal of delivering an ever-expanding range of high quality, value for money products for the public through our growing store portfolio and multichannel offerings.”
Danny Nelson, Winvic’s Director of Industrial, Distribution and Logistics, commented: “Gateway 14 is a significant project, not only for its size, but also its sustainability features. It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with Jaynic for the first time to construct the 1.17 million square foot industrial facility, which will soon be occupied by The Range, and we hope to build on our relationship in the future.”
Ben Oughton, Development Director of Jaynic, said: “We have worked closely with The Range to bring forward a highly sustainable building that will be the benchmark for future buildings moving forward.”
Gateway 14 benefits from being part of Freeport East, one of only eight Freeports in the UK. The Freeport status provides businesses on Gateway 14 with a range of benefits including a suite of tax reliefs and simplified customs arrangements, together with partnering to deliver innovation and skills support for the wider community.
Steve Beel, Chief Executive of Freeport East said: “This a landmark first development for Freeport East but the first of many. Bringing a diverse range of new business operations into the Freeport East area will strengthen and diversify our local economy and provide a range of opportunities for local people. With 100% of all the business rates collected at Gateway 14 being recycled into local growth priorities, it means that this major development will also drive benefit across local communities, such as supporting our new Innovation & Skills Fund and supporting local businesses to innovate and grow.”
Gateway 14 will provide high specification buildings with sustainability a central feature including EV charging, LED lighting, solar PV, smart energy systems and rainwater harvesting. The development is committed to meeting a Very Good BREEAM rating and will strive for Excellent wherever possible as well as delivering low carbon and net zero solutions. The distribution facility for The Range achieves BREEAM Excellent.
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.