Supply chain services and online fulfillment specialist, Walker Logistics, has been granted planning permission to build a new 125,000 sq ft warehouse on land adjacent to its existing 250,000 sq ft multi-user hub at Membury, Berkshire.
Construction is expected to start on the unit early in 2022 with the work projected to be complete by the end of next year.
William Walker, Walker Logistics’ managing director, commented: “We are delighted that West Berkshire Council has given us the green light to begin working on this exciting project.
“Walker has reached an important stage in its development and the additional capacity allows us to keep pace with the ongoing growth in demand for our range of services.
“The company has been based in Membury since it was launched in 1999 and has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with businesses and residents in the local community.
“We are very aware of our corporate social responsibilities and strive to be ‘good neighbours,’ so our new unit will be a sustainable extension to our existing site that is only visible from a short stretch of the nearest road, which means that its impact on the local environment will be minimal.”
The multi-million pound development will bring state-of-the-art additional space to Walker, who reported a 317 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of e-commerce orders picked, packed and dispatched during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Charlie Walker, Walker Logistics’ head of marketing, said: “The upturn in activity not only reflects the general increase in online shopping across the country throughout the Covid pandemic, but is also due to the fact that Walker has added a number of important new accounts to its client base throughout the past year.”
In addition to the new warehouse, the scheme – which will be on 5.5 hectares of greenfield land next to a disused airfield – will deliver office space and car parking as well as a museum that will mark the important role that the local area played during the Second World War.
“The airfield in Membury on which our new site is to be built, was one of the departure points for hundreds of American troops heading for Normandy to take part in the D-Day landings in 1944. We think it would be nice to give something back to an area where something of such huge historic significance took place,” Charlie Walker explained.
The decision to extend the company’s existing estate – rather than seek an alternative site elsewhere – has safeguarded the futures of Walker Logistics’ existing workforce and, in addition, the company will recruit some 200 new permanent staff once the facility becomes fully operational.