Leading transport operator CM Downton has taken over the lease on a 20 acre (8.2 hectare) site incorporating a 282,000ft2 (26,200m2) warehouse in Chepstow, South Wales as part of its ongoing business development. The warehouse will be used to consolidate and increase Downton’s operations for customers with production facilities in the region. The company is refurbishing the site, improving workshop facilities and upgrading on-site office accommodation as part of its investment.
Originally built for Tesco in 1988, the site comprises a 282,000ft2 distribution warehouse with 16,000ft2 (1500m2) of office space, workshops, drive-through washing, a gatehouse, extensive lorry and trailer parking and separate car parking. The new site is close to another Downton facility in Chepstow and brings the company’s total number of UK depots to 16. Downton anticipates it will base around 150 vehicles at the site within the next 12 months. The company has taken over the lease from Tesco, with legal support provided by the head of Lodders’ real estate team, Paul Mourton.
Downton identified Chepstow as an ideal location for serving customers in South Wales because the site has easy access to the M4 and, with a choice of crossings over the River Severn, good links with the rest of the UK. These advantages are enhanced because property costs are higher on the English side of the river while the ending of crossing tolls by the end of 2018, announced by the Government earlier this year, will remove further cost and complexity from vehicle operations. HGVs are currently charged up to £20 per crossing.
Andy Downton, Managing Director at CM Downton, said: “The market continues to consolidate and clients are looking for one-stop solutions with scale. As a business we prefer to invest in sites with the right combination of location, facilities and potential for expansion. Very few opportunities arise to acquire depots of this size but this one ticked all the boxes. We have seen significant growth among our client base in South Wales and this site offered an excellent opportunity for us to expand our capacity in the region and add to our existing network. It’s basically a 20 acre site with extensive facilities but with 12 acres of outdoor space for vehicle parking and room for expansion.”