Beds, Herts & Bucks

Lidl plans to build largest UK warehouse near Luton

Lidl warehouse in Exeter Image copyright Casey Gutteridge
Image caption The centre will be more than double the size of any other Lidl UK warehouse, including the one in Exeter that opened in November

German discount supermarket Lidl has announced plans to build its largest warehouse in the UK.

The regional distribution centre at J11A of the M1 near Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, will be more than double the size of any other Lidl UK warehouse and will create up to 1,000 new jobs.

The one million square foot warehouse on the 58-acre (23-hectare) site will be its 16th in Britain.

Lidl UK said it was part of its plan to invest £1.45bn in Britain in 2017-18.

Contracts exchanged

The firm, owned by Germany's Schwarz Group, said the new centre would service its growing estate of London stores.

It said it had already exchanged contracts on the site with the Houghton Regis Management Company - a consortium of Aviva Investors, Land Improvement Holdings and the Diocese of St Albans.

Lidl UK, which currently trades from 690 stores in the UK, said it would open five new London stores in the next two months - in Shepherds Bush, Walthamstow Central, South Ruislip, Hornchurch and Rosehill - and has plans for a further five warehouses.

Director for expansion and development, Ingo Fischer, said: "With five new stores opening in the next two months alone, and further store expansion and development plans in place for the Greater London area across the new financial year and beyond, this new warehouse is vital in supporting our ambitious expansion plans in and around the M25."

The deal is part of the first phase of the development of a 630-acre (255-acre) site being led by the consortium, following the opening of the new J11A.

The scheme has consent for more than 5,000 houses, three primary schools and a further one million square feet of commercial and retail space.

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