Aldi is looking to create a 1.3m sq. ft. facility in the heart of the National Forest that will operate 365 days a year, while rival Lidl opens a new £70m RDC in Peterborough. The supermarket giants are both strengthening their distribution networks in the UK and creating jobs in the local economy.
After receiving the green light for the latest RDC, Aldi said it would deliver up to 750 jobs in a wide range of sectors including administration and security, site, section and deputy management roles, warehouse operatives, maintenance engineers and transport managers and drivers.
This latest super shed is planned for a 72 acre site at Nailstone Colliery, in West Leicestershire. The plans include solar panels on the roof, 600 parking spaces and a 238 space HGV waiting area. The site will be powered by its own substations. Planning permission was granted by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council on the condition that the building didn't exceed 33m in height, local residents would not be affected by noise and pollution and any potential land contamination is properly addressed.
Lidl investment commitments
In Peterborough, the doors opened on Lidl's latest RDC employing 400 and with plans to recruit a further 50 in the coming months. Although under half the size of Aldi's planned development in Leicestershire, the 485,000 sq. ft. site is the equivalent of eight football pitches and will operate in tandem with a smaller facility at Lutterworth, significantly extending Lidl's infrastructure in the region.
The centre is part of a planned investment in the UK of £1.45bn to the end of 2020. New warehouses are also planned at Luton and Bolton, while existing facilities will be extended in Bridgend and Belvedere. The extended network will service an additional 100 new stores across Great Britain through to the end of 2022. The Peterborough facility was completed on target despite the Covid pandemic.
Essential stores such as Aldi and Lidl have stayed open throughout lockdown, providing their neighbourhood customers with essential food supplies. The addition of the Peterborough warehouse will strengthen operations and logistics to mitigate any supply chain shortages if lockdown measures are reinstated.
The new warehouse is strategically located just off the A1(M) and is designed to serve 48 stores. The building meets sustainability standards with solar panels on the roof and a natural refrigerant system to cool and heat the building. According to Savill's latest Big Shed briefing, there's less than a year's worth of Grade A warehousing in the East of England. The shortage is being driven by the uptick in transactional activity and the fact that 41% of supply is not fit for purpose.
Demand for warehousing remains high as businesses seek to capitalise on changing consumer habits in the light of the Covid lockdown. The demand for new stock in the strategically important East of England has seen speculative units snapped up by the likes of MH Star and Unilever, demonstrating the confidence in the local market and the need for specialist high quality modern warehousing in the region.