THURROCK Council says that a controversial visit by its officials to a
Mediterranean planning conference has paid dividends with an agreement that is set to create up to 1,500 local jobs.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Thurrock Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, has welcomed news that Ocado Retail will establish a new 300,000 sq ft Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) in Purfleet creating up to 1,500 local jobs.
The company, which is a new joint retail venture between Ocado Group and M&S announced last month that it will create the new state of the art facility on a 19 acre site at SEGRO Logistics Park, Purfleet. The site has been something of a local planning thorn, with a number of developments proposed there over the years – many receiving strong opposition from residents.
A statement by the council says the decision to develop the site followed positive talks between SEGRO and Thurrock Council which began at the international MIPIM conference in March 2018.
The council adds almost £300,000 in planning performance income has been generated since MIPIM 2018 – though the cost of the conference to tatepayers has never been established as the visit and subsequent conferences were covered in a shroud of secrecy by the authority, which barred the press from attending one allegedly public conference.
SEGRO plc is a property investment and development company. It develops and invests in property located in the UK and Europe focusing on edge of town flexible business space.
Cllr Coxshall, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ocado Retail and SEGRO to the Thurrock family. It is great that large scale businesses like these can see the advantages of working with us and locating here.
“Thurrock is a growing area which offers tremendous opportunities to businesses. By encouraging organisations like these to invest in the borough we are creating exciting employment prospects for our residents.
“Thurrock Council is very much open for business and by spreading the word about the incredible opportunities which exist here we are helping to create a more prosperous place for our residents to live, work, play and stay.”
Alan Holland, Business Unit Director, Greater London, SEGRO, said: “Demand for high-quality, well-positioned industrial land inside the M25 continues to rise at the same time as availability is falling. Thurrock ticked all the boxes for us as a great place to develop the new SEGRO Logistics Park Purfleet facility, a fact underlined by Ocado’s decision to establish a new Customer Fulfilment Centre there. It’s a real positive in terms of investment, job creation and local economic growth.”
Richard Locke, Operations Director, Ocado Retail, said: “These are exciting times for Ocado.com, now a joint venture between Ocado Group and M&S, and this latest Customer Fulfilment Centre will provide new capacity to bring an even better offer to UK customers.”