Wincanton and IKEA hosted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at their new 452,000sq ft distribution centre in Dartford this week, where he described the two company’s expansion as a “huge vote of confidence” for the economy.

Located at the former Littlebrook Power Station site near the Dartford Crossing, the multi-million-pound distribution centre has the capacity to deliver almost one million orders annually.

The facility will help provide faster home deliveries to IKEA customers across London and the southeast of England – with many reaching customers within 24 hours of an order being placed.

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The new distribution centre is also enabling a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and is operated by 100% renewable energy.

The Prime Minister was given a tour of the distribution centre and told how its launch had created more than 300 local jobs for Wincanton.

James Wroath, chief executive of Wincanton, said: “In partnership with IKEA, this important new site in Dartford enables us to deliver exceptional service for its customers.

“At the heart of this is our joint commitment to lead innovation across the sector, to create 300 more jobs and a more sustainable supply chain wherever possible. Our multi million-pound investment in electric vehicles for home delivery services is a perfect example of that.”