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Amesbury RDC takes shape
WORK on a huge new regional distribution centre at Solstice Park is well underway.
The roof sheeting and cladding is now being put on the 26.3m high structure that will become the southern distribution hub for discount retailer Home Bargains.
Despite the wet weather, the project is running ahead of schedule and 150 people from contractors McLaren are working on the site using huge cranes to lift the roof structure into place.
The regional distribution centre will bring 1,200 jobs to Amesbury with a wide range of positions including management, finance and working on the floor of the distribution centre using the company’s sophisticated stock picking system.
A Home Bargains shop/training centre is also being built at Solstice Park where 170 people a year will undergo training.
The shop will be open to the public, selling well known brands at discounted prices.
Established in Liverpool 30 years ago, the family-owned firm Home Bargains has about 300 stores, employing 10,000 people, predominantly in the north of England. But it has ambitious expansion plans, and the Amesbury regional distribution centre will allow it to open hundreds of new shops in London and the south including Salisbury.
“This company has found a niche in the market and is doing fantastically well,” said Solstice Park development director, Cliff Whitley.
“In this economic climate people want to pay less but still get their favourite brands, and that’s the key to its success.”
Throughout the long planning process the regional distribution centre attracted criticism from local people who protested against the scale of the development and possible noise, light pollution and traffic congestion.
But Mr Whitley says now the centre is being built, feedback has been more positive.
“Amesbury is a growing town, there are new houses and hundreds of army families moving back to the area,” he said. “People need jobs. Other major employers in Amesbury have shut down and people have had a taste of the tough times.
“This is an £100,000m investment in Amesbury and they are pleased about it. “They want jobs for their children and grandchildren.”
The RDC site is 41 acres and will include ancillary buildings, staff canteen, lorry bays and car parking.
The building shell is due to be completed by October although the internal fit-out will start in June.
Home Bargains plans to open the centre - which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year - in August 2015.
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