The retailer, The Range, has revealed its latest warehouse, spanning 1.17 million square feet, as part of the Gateway 14 development in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

The scheduled development, initially disclosed in June 2022, received detailed planning consent for the unit in October of the same year. Fast forward to October 2023, and Logistics Manager reported that Investec Real Estate had extended an £80 million financing package to Norton Group for the development of the distribution centre.

This structure attained BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification, showcasing its commitment to sustainability. Noteworthy features include 20% active and 20% passive electric vehicle (EV) charging points, “ultra-high efficiency LED lighting,” and roof-mounted photovoltaics. Furthermore, the facility is poised to benefit from advanced water leak detection and a rainwater harvesting system.

Gateway 14 aspires to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating overall, with a commitment to striving for ‘Excellent’ wherever feasible, coupled with a dedication to delivering low-carbon and net-zero solutions.

Alex Simpkin, Chief Executive of The Range, expressed excitement about receiving the keys to this cutting-edge distribution centre. He emphasized its significance in enhancing operational efficiency, streamlining logistics, and supporting the expansion of their retail store network and website across the UK.

The Range is the inaugural occupant of a facility at Gateway 14, with the development encompassing four distinct ‘zones.’ ‘Zone 1’ spans 36 acres, accommodating buildings ranging from 20,000 to 640,000 square feet. Meanwhile, ‘Zone 2’ covers 17 acres and includes buildings ranging from 20,000 to 316,000 square feet. A planning application has been submitted for a 164,796 square feet facility in the 8.9-acre ‘Zone 3,’ leaving the final eight acres reserved for ‘Zone 4.’ This innovation zone is designed for buildings ranging from 20,000 to 135,000 square feet, dedicated to research & development and advanced manufacturing, along with office spaces.

Sir Christopher Haworth, Chair of Gateway 14, hailed the development as a significant day for Stowmarket and the surrounding region, citing the creation of over 1,600 jobs and the delivery of the first building in the highly sustainable, mixed-use Gateway 14 development. He expressed optimism about future occupiers and the positive impact on the local economy.

Gateway 14 is part of Freeport East, subject to distinct economic regulations providing benefits such as tax reliefs and simplified customs arrangements. Steve Beel, Chief Executive of Freeport East, highlighted the landmark nature of this first development, emphasizing its role in diversifying the local economy and creating opportunities for the community. He underscored the recycling of 100% of business rates collected at Gateway 14 into local growth priorities, supporting initiatives like the Innovation & Skills Fund and aiding local businesses in innovation and growth.

Savills and Avison Young serve as joint agents for Gateway 14.

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