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the logistics and distribution market has never been busier.

Industrial construction project starts to show two year growth

According to Glenigan, project starts are up 85% on last year and 68% on the previous three months. Most encouragingly, those figures are 16% higher than two years ago, before the global pandemic.

Those figures are being driven by a quartet of logistics projects for some of the biggest players in the sector. These will deliver new warehousing and distribution space for Lidl, Amazon and Next and will add over a million square feet of warehousing to the UK's existing stock, while the new Royal Mail sorting hub at Daventry will have the capacity to process over a million parcels per day.

Amazon confirm home in Knowsley

The highest value project of the four is Amazon's new 835,000 sq ft Peel Logistics Property (PLP) warehouse and distribution centre based at Knowsley Industrial Park, which is worth £86m and is slated for completion in March 2022.  Winvic have been appointed Main Contractor on this scheme.

The site will comprise a 562,887 sq ft main warehouse processing area with a 199,670 sq ft mezzanine floor and pick tower racking. An office and welfare block will occupy a further 45,951, with a truckers' lounge and bathroom facilities taking up a further 7,836 sq ft of space.

Amazon already have three major sites in the North East but decided to proceed at Knowsley based on the unprecedented boom in online shopping during the pandemic lockdown.

Next in West Yorkshire

Next originally submitted a planning application for the South Elmsall warehouse back in December 2019 and started work on the £125m project in February. Slated for completion next May, the site comprises 777,035 sq ft of warehousing and office space. Plans have been submitted to reach BREEAM Very Good rating and achieve Secured by Design requirements.

Next said the space was required to meet the anticipated increase in online sales in coming years and will create around 1,000 jobs, 650 of them full-time posts.  Bowmer & Kirkland have been appointed Main Contractor on this scheme.

You've got rail

The new £74.8 million fully-automated 840,000 sq ft Royal Mail Parcel Hub at Daventry International Rail Terminal III also started work in February and is due to be online in 2023.  Buckingham Group have been appointed Main Contractor on this scheme.

Part of the massivley successful DIRFT (Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal) logistics hub, the new development will feature Royal Mail's Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) and will help to service the online shopping boom. The site will also feature energy efficient heating, lighting and ventilation and is adjacent to several existing warehouses and fulfilment centres. The parcel hub will feature a fleet workshop facility, a vehicle operating centre and new staff facilities in addition to the rail terminal.

Lidl Burts Wharf

The new Lidl facility at Belvedere will almost double the German discounter's current warehouse space and create around 400 jobs in the local economy. The 469,521 sq ft scheme will operate alongside Lidl's existing 312,153sq ft distribution centre.

The development will feature future-proofing infrastructure to strengthen Lidl's current operations and will be part of the supply chain for the discounter's 44 stores across south London. TSL Projects has been named as the main contractor and work is due to be completed in May 2022.

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