Work starts on new Sainsbury’s distribution unit

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Ground has been broken on the site of a major new employer for the Daventry district.

Work has begun on a major new Sainsbury’s distribution facility in Daventry which will create more than 9,000 jobs and support the company’s rapidly growing general merchandise business – electronics, homewear, and other items not classed as groceries.

Ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on the new Sainsbury's distribution facility at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT II), took place today (Friday). ''Pictured: Mark Pawsey MP, Ian Vincent (Daventry District Council), Ian Davis (Rugby Borough Council), Richard Flemming (Director of Logistics - Sainsbury's) & Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

Ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on the new Sainsbury's distribution facility at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT II), took place today (Friday). ''Pictured: Mark Pawsey MP, Ian Vincent (Daventry District Council), Ian Davis (Rugby Borough Council), Richard Flemming (Director of Logistics - Sainsbury's) & Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

The one million sq ft facility, which will open in 2015, is located at Prologis’ Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal expansion site (DIRFT II) on land between the A428 to the A5 on land originally occupied by the Halfway House inn and former Eddie Stobbart depot. The scale of the new building is hard to imagine – it’s bigger than the new Tesco unit already in use across the A428. The new warehouse will have both road and rail operations including a new intermodal terminal connected to the existing DIRFT railway infrastructure.

At the ceremony Daventry’s MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It’s a big chunk of investment into the Daventry district – £100 million, 9,000 jobs by the end of 2015. It really is great news for the area.”

The site lies on the very edge of the district, with Rugby Borough Council planning on building homes on the land on its side of the site as part of an extension to the town.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “While we hope that the new residents will form part of the existing town, we also hope they’ll be able to come across the A5 and find somewhere to work.”

Richard Fleming, Sainsbury’s logistics director, said: “The distribution centre at DIRFT II represents a significant investment for Sainsbury’s. We are always looking at ways to serve our customers better and this depot will provide us with a central location to support our growing general merchandise business, which is growing at twice the rate of food.”

Andrew Griffiths, managing director of Prologis UK, said: “We realised several years ago that rail would become increasingly important to the logistics sector and invested in strategic rail-connected sites.

“We were therefore able to understand Sainsbury’s requirements and to design a building that met the company’s exact specification.”