Marks & Spencer (M&S) has pulled out of plans to create a new £200 million distribution centre at DP World London Gateway.
The decision by the UK-based retailer will be a bitter blow to London Gateway, who described the project as a “major milestone” for the complex when it was first announced in June last year.
The proposed facility, welcomed by UK Prime Minster David Cameron and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the time, would have been used by M&S to house clothing, home ware and gifts before being transported to the company’s stores in the UK and overseas. It was anticipated that the 900,000 sq. ft. warehouse would have generated as many as 700 much needed jobs for the region.
In a statement, M&S said that after reviewing its plans it had decided not to proceed with the London gateway site and has developed an alternative plan.
The statement continued; “This will secure the delivery of the single tier network by 2016/17 as planned, by operating from the two new NDCs, at Castle Donington and Bradford, supported by four of the existing regional distribution centres which will be converted into NDC use. This will use our capital investment more efficiently, with a planned £130 million reduction in investment whilst largely retaining associated benefits.”
M&S PR manager Daniel Himsworth said that the decision doesn’t mean that the company is closing the door on London Gateway completely. “We use the port and nothing has changed there,” he said. “What we have been really clear about is that we are not ruling out having a presence at London Gateway in the future.”
Despite the disappointing news from M&S last week, there was still reason for DP World to celebrate following the announcement that the Buckingham Group has been awarded the contract to build the Common User Facility (CUF) at its London Gateway Logistics Park.
Following a period of ground preparation and development of key infrastructure by DP World, Buckingham Group is now mobilising to start construction, with the new logistics centre planned for completion during the firt quarter of 2015.
The 375,000 square foot multi-purpose specialist cargo handling centre will be built in two phases and will be fully integrated with the new deep-sea container port DP World London Gateway.