Lidl is to build a 645,000sq ft DC in Gildersome, Leeds, as part of a major expansion of its distribution network.

Its plans could create up to 500 jobs. Construction of the facility will follow a pipeline of new Lidl DCs including warehouses in Doncaster, Bolton, Peterborough and Luton.

Ingo Fischer, Lidl UK’s director of expansion and development, said: “As we continue to open new stores and serve more customers across the country it’s important that we also continue to build foundations for the future.

“This latest investment joins a long line of Lidl warehouses set to open over the next seven years, which are all vital in supporting our growth.”

The purchase of the 38-acre site in Leeds is part of an £1.45bn investment in stores and warehouses in the UK in 2017 and 2018 and follows the opening of two DCs last year in Exeter (pictured) and Wednesbury.

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Construction is also underway on new warehouses in Avonmouth and Eurocentral, Scotland, which will replace nearby existing facilities.

There is currently heightened activity in West Yorkshire’s warehousing market, including the speculative development of a 258,000sq ft warehouse, to be known as Super G, off Junction 32 of the M62. The project, being undertaken by Barwood Capital and BA Pension Fund, is due for completion in Q2 2019.

Iain McPhail, head of the Leeds industrial and logistics team at Knight Frank, said: “It’s an exciting time for the industrial market and, with continued demand from occupiers, this recent flurry of speculative development should encourage further growth in the region.”

Other recent activity in the region has included the opening of a deep frozen storage and DC in Wakefield by cold chain logistics firm NewCold – with the capacity to store 143,000 pallets, it is said by the company to be the largest such facility in the UK.

By Simon Jack