Up to 230 jobs are to be created in Peterborough by online grocerry retailer Ocado.
Ocado is to be open a new distribution hub in unit 3 at the Darlows Business Centre, Whitehead Drove, in Fengate.
This is a fantastic piece of news for employment within the area.Richard Jones, director
The company, which distributes for Morrisons and Waitrose and receives an average of 167,000 orders a week, has agreed a 15 years lease on a 48,000 sq ft warehouse for its operations in the east of England.
The unit was the former home of City Link which went into administration in January 2015 at a loss of 50 jobs.
An Ocado spokesperson said: “We are very pleased to have acquired the site in Peterborough which will allow us to provide customers in the area with even better customer service through wider availability of delivery slots.
“The site went live on Wednesday with the first delivery vans leaving at 5.45am.
“We expect the new site to eventually create around 250 jobs, mostly delivering the face to face exceptional service for which Ocado is renowned.”
Currently the retailer’s closest distribution centre for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire is in Hatfield, nearly 65 miles away.
Its new distribution hub, which opens today, is enclosed by concrete hardstanding which will be used for the storage of Ocado’s fleet of delivery vehicles, employee parking and for HGV deliveries.
Richard Jones, director at Barker Storey Matthews, which secured the deal, said: “We are delighted to announce that Ocado will be joining the city of Peterborough.
“This is a fantastic piece of news for employment within the area.
“Ocado has been involved in an extensive fit-out of the property.
“The site made an ideal location for a distribution centre due to its excellent road connectivity.
“The online grocery market is growing at an incredibly fast rate and this new strategically located distribution centre in Peterborough will increase Ocado’s reach and efficiency significantly.”
John Dadge, director of planning at Barker Storey Matthews, said: “We would particularly like to praise Peterborough City Councils planning department for the swift resolution of planning matters.
“There were a number of issues that needed resolving at the last moment and Peterborough City Council pulled out all of the stops to ensure the deal was not delayed.”