Tuesday, September 14, 2021

News: Next planning to invest £50m in Rotherham expansion


National retailer, Next, looks set to revive a decade-old plan to expand its already massive distribution warehouse in Rotherham due to a rise in online sales.

If approved, the development would create 150 jobs.

Developed by St Paul's Developments and opened in 2008, Next's 1.1m sq ft Rotherham operation at Brookfield's Park in Manvers is home to around 450 employees.

The two buildings can handle over 100,000 pallets and includes the largest warehouse in Next's 13-site distribution network that handles over 300 million units each year. The network makes 88,000 deliveries every year to 500 Next stores across the UK and millions of internet and Next Directory catalogue customers.

In 2013, investment fund managers, Tritax sold the two units in a deal worth £87m to Legal & General Property.

Plans have now been submitted for a 200,000 sq ft extension to one of the buildings on the south western elevation facing Manvers Way. It would mean that the existing car park for the facility would be moved immediately west.

The proposals are almost exactly the same as those submitted in 2011 but were never constructed.

Plans, drawn up by RPS planning consultants, state: "The proposed size, location and orientation of the building is designed to satisfy the needs of the existing user, Next Plc, who have a need to expand their capacity to facilitate their distribution of goods on a national and regional basis from this location.

"The proposed facility is projected to create up to 150 additional full-time posts overall, working a combination of shift times. This will take the number of full-time employees at the facility from 450 to 600 overall.

"The development presents a well considered, inclusive design solution to provide an extension to an already successful facility which is tailored to specific client requirements, bringing additional employment and economic investment to an identified enterprise zone. In doing this, the development will serve to increase the viability of the Brookfield’s Park Development as a whole, and strengthen the local community."

Planning documents also state that the base building and fit out costs for the development come in in the region of £50m – a significant investment in this site.

Next Plc adapted quickly to the pandemic and recently saw online sales jump 69% from the same period in 2019.

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Images: Next / PRS


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