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Work starts on expansion of Screwfix distribution centre

BUILDING work has begun on an £18million expansion of a distribution centre which will create more than 100 jobs.

St Modwen is building the extension at Screwfix's Trentham Lakes depot, which will double the size of the complex.

The expansion will create 107 full-time positions and safeguard 421 existing jobs on the site.

Screwfix – which supplies trade tools, accessories and hardware products – has also said a further 200 jobs could be created in the future.

A ceremony was held at the site yesterday to mark the start of the works.

Screwfix chief executive Andrew Livingston said: "The current building has been here for around a decade and holds 40,000 different products.

"This expansion allows us to hold more products to help keep up with the demand.

"Stoke-on-Trent is a great area for distribution because of where it is located.

"It allows us to deliver to stores and customers in Scotland as well as all the way to the south of the country.

"What initially attracted us to North Staffordshire is a fantastic pool of labour in the area which will help to support our growth.

"We currently have two distribution centres in this region with the other being in the Stafford area and which measures around 540,000 sq ft.

"Once the work is finished on our Trentham Lakes site, it will be the bigger of the two."

The extension will see the existing Screwfix facility double in size from 320,000 sq ft to 630,000 sq ft.

Euan Lindsay, development manager at St Modwen, said the expansion plans had been planned for years.

He said: "It is a very exciting development considering we have been in discussion with the company since November 2011.

"The investment demonstrates the fact that there is a general feeling of economic recovery and we are hopeful this will be a catalyst for other businesses coming here."

A recruitment drive to fill the new positions is set to begin in January.

Work on the expansion is expected to be completed next summer.

Employee Jill Smith, aged 46, of Tregenna Close, Meir Park, said: "I have been working as a warehouse operative for Screwfix for nine years so it was brilliant to hear about the expansion.

"The news basically means job security for workers like us.

"We have a good team of workers here and it's great to hear things are moving forward."

Worker Dawn Waite has worked as a warehouse administrator on the Trentham Lakes site for 10 years.

The 55-year-old, of Leawood Road, Trent Vale, said: "The fact that we will be taking on people can only be a good thing.

"We found out about the development a few months ago and we were all pleased to hear the news."

Source : Michelle Chow - Stoke Sentinel

17 August 2014

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