BM Retail 2

Discount retailers B&M Retail and Aldi are to open major new warehouses in the Bedford area.

B&M will construct a one million ft² building which will create 1,000 jobs and will start recruitment as the building nears completion in 2019.

Simon Aurora, B&M’s chief executive, said: “Our continued nationwide growth has allowed us to invest approximately £100m in what will be one of the largest distribution facilities in the UK.”

Aldi’s unit will be 800,000ft² and will support its ambition to open 1,000 stores by 2022. Once built, it will employ 400 staff – the company has said it will keep the local community updated on the development and recruitment opportunities.

Matthew Barnes, Aldi’s CEO for the UK and Ireland, commented: “The excellent transport links and infrastructure in the area made it an obvious choice for our new distribution base.”

Bedford Borough Council worked with landowners Gallagher Estates to help facilitate the projects which will be built in the Wixams employment area to the south of Bedford.

Development of the warehouses follows other activity in the southern M1 corridor. In January Lidl revealed plans for a one million ft² warehouse in Luton to support its expansion in London.

In nearby Dunstable AXA IM – Real Assets announced in March that it had acquired a 32-acre site for a 620,000ft² development.

The first building, a 263,000 ft² speculative warehouse by Baytree Developments, will be completed by the end of the year.

By Simon Jack