Gallan Group and Stoford will celebrate the start of construction of a massive £35million distribution centre for the Co-operative Group in Avonmouth within the next few months.

Bristol City Council has granted them and The Crown Estate, which owns the 32.95acre site it will be built on, planning permission. The scheme is expected to generate thousands of new jobs and be completed by early next year.

The 450,000 sq ft centre will serve more than 400 Co-operative stores in Bristol, the south west and south Wales and follows the Group’s acquisition of Somerfield in 2009 and subsequent reorganisation of its UK logistics.

Mark Leonard, The Co-operative Group’s Regional Head of Logistics, said: “Avonmouth is an excellent location to serve our stores in the south west of England and South Wales. Planning consent has reaffirmed our commitment to the scheme which will not only provide major employment locally, but will also be a major investment in the local community, as well as a boost to the local economy for many years to come.”

Karen Wilson, leading the scheme for Gallan Group said: “We are delighted to be involved in such a significant development that will bring a tremendous boost to the local economy.”

James Cooksey, Head of Regional Portfolio at The Crown Estate said: “This multi-million pound investment will create around 1,000 new jobs in the Bristol area, worth around £25million to the local economy in terms of construction works and jobs.”

AXA Real Estate, Europe’s second largest investment fund, has financed the scheme which has been pre-let to the Co-operative Group on a 20 year lease at a rent in excess of £2.1million a year.

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