Eastwood distribution hub could bring 2,000 jobs

Simon Jenkins and Fergie Taylor of First Industrial, Daniel Butler of IM Properties and John Procter of FHP at the site.
Simon Jenkins and Fergie Taylor of First Industrial, Daniel Butler of IM Properties and John Procter of FHP at the site.

Work is underway on a new industrial development just outside Eastwood which could provide up to 2,000 jobs.

The new distribution hub Nottingham 26, named after its excellent access to the M1 and the country by Junction 26, could house up to four major clients on the site, with more than 800,000 square feet of industrial space over four buildings.

Artist's impression of Nottingham 26

Artist's impression of Nottingham 26

Developers IM Properties have already started work on a new road to the site, and hope to attract a national or regional distribution business to take the biggest proposed building on the site, at around 450,000 square feet.

The company says the supreme position, one mile from the M1, is likely to attract a major national client to the site, which will be worth £60 million when completed.

Nearby estates have already provided thousands of jobs, and the developers say the strategic location, one mile from the M1, will attract both regional and major national occupiers.

Development director Kevin Ashfield said: “We have been refining our plans at Nottingham 26 for some months but believe that now is the time to proceed.

“We have started on the infrastructure at the site, which should be a sign to potential occupiers of our commitment.

“We think we are going to get at least one sizeable occupier at Nottingham 26, because it is accessible and has a good catchment for employment. In the long-term it is not difficult to envisage 1,500-2,000 jobs on the site.”

He added: “I think we will see the first pre-let on the site later this year, enabling us to start construction next year.”

Simon Jenkins, Development Director at First Industrial, which is delivering the project, said: “Nottingham 26 is a site that has enormous potential and the fact that there is an experienced team behind it means that it is more likely that potential will be fulfilled.”

John Procter, of the project’s agents, FHP, said distribution centres had been playing a big role in creating local jobs, with those of Marks & Spencer, near Castle Donnington, and others creating 3,000 jobs between them.

He added: “This is a major development which is likely to deliver significant economic benefits.

“In the long-term, it has the capacity to support more than 2,000 jobs, and when you put that together with the employment created by similar developments up and down the M1, you can see that large-scale distribution centres have been a substantial windfall for the local economy.”

So Nottingham 26 will enjoy similar advantages to these already-occupied sites, he added.

“It will have its own access to the A610 and its proximity to the M1 means that is hooked into vast regional and national markets.

“A strategic location is crucial to the operators of major distribution centres.”

Environmental consultants Three Shires Limited worked with the developers last July to remove endangered newts from the site, including thousands of metres of exclusion fencing. The Great Crested Newt population, protected under UK law, were “translocated” with other amphibians and reptiles to a suitable habitat away from the construction site.

Iain Rowan, 56, a groundworker of Lower Beauvale, said: “The general disregard for wildlife has been disgusting. They had to relocate loads of protected newts plus all the work they started must have an impact on ground nesting birds. Besides, more empty units that’s just what we need. They will want to build on greenbelt next – oh, wait.”

Nottingham 26 is being built to order and will secure occupiers before beginning construction. The developers, IM Properties, imagine this process will take off within the next year.