On completion, the 1.2 million sq ft, £200 million scheme will serve as The Range’s main South East of England distribution hub and create around 1,650 new jobs. The highly sustainable development is targeting an EPC A rating and BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification. Features will include solar PV panels, air source heat pumps, smart energy systems and 160 active EV charging spaces.
The Range opened its first store in 1989 and now has over 210 stores nationwide as well as large distribution centres in Bristol and Doncaster. The distribution centre is part of the value retailer’s aggressive growth strategy that will see it significantly increase its existing store portfolio, in addition to its growing online presence.
The development is located at Gateway 14, East Anglia’s newest and largest business, innovation and logistics park. Adjacent to junction 50 of the A14, 26 miles from Felixstowe Port, the UK’s primary shipping access to European and global markets, it is accessible to central London by road in under two hours.
Norton Group is a long-standing client of Investec and this first real estate debt transaction broadens the relationship between the two parties.
Ed Boughton at Investec Real Estate commented: “Demand for tenant critical, high quality logistics space has remained strong throughout the current period of macroeconomic volatility, with occupiers seeking highly sustainable, best-in-class buildings with excellent transport links. This financing is a fantastic opportunity to assist The Range, a significant Investec client, with its growth ambitions. Being able to support it through multiple offerings across the bank is a great demonstration of our relationship banking ethos.”
Alex Simpkin, CEO at The Range, added: “This is not only a major landmark in the expansion of The Range’s estate; it is positive news for the UK retail sector. Together with Investec’s expertise and understanding of real estate financing, we are effectively injecting millions of pounds into the economy at a time when it is much needed.
“This vast distribution centre is one of the biggest warehouse developments in the UK in the last five years and will allow us to expand to further locations around the UK, delivering new jobs and store openings, as well as providing an even better service in store and online for customers by allowing us to expand our product offering and that of the newly acquired Wilko brand.”