Doncaster’s £500m iPort secures first tenant

An artists' impression of the Fellowes development.

An artists' impression of the Fellowes development.

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A £500m logistics development that promises to create 5,000 jobs in Doncaster has taken a major step forward after securing its first tenant.

Fellowes, an office supplies manufacturer based in the US, has signed a deal to move its UK headquarters into the first speculatively built warehouse at the iPort in Rossington.

The global manufacturer and marketer of air purification machines, office business machines, record storage and office and mobile technology accessories, has taken IP2b, one of the new speculatively built units at iPort, as its new UK headquarters and EU shared service building.

Fellowes is relocating from its existing building at nearby West More Park and is due to move into the new premises in November.

The 144,373 sq ft building comprises 123, 215 sq ft of warehouse space and 21, 158 sq ft of office and welfare accommodation.

Verdion is developing the iPort on a 337-acre site. The iPort rail freight interchange will comprise 6m sq ft of warehouses handling shipping containers arriving on trains from all major UK ports and the Channel Tunnel.

The development will relieve pressure on congested coastal ports and speed up delivery of freight. The site is also linked with Junction 3 of the M18 via the Great Yorkshire Way which opened in February.

Michel van Beek, president of Fellowes EMEA and Asia, said: “This move will offer many advantages including excellent links to the UK rail and road network. It will offer Fellowes the opportunity to create a more modern and efficient workplace supportive to our future business needs and aspirations.”

John Clements, European development director of Verdion, added: “Our confidence to commence the speculative development programme has been endorsed by this letting to such a highly regarded, international operator. Interest in the rest of the scheme is strong and we expect to be able to announce further significant lettings during the course of 2016.”

Developer Verdion started the speculative development of the first two units, totalling 350,000 sq ft, in August 2015 with completion due in May 2016. The second larger 214,850 sq ft building is still available.

The scheme was given planning permission in 2011 but a lack of funding and delays to the new link road hampered progress. Verdion secured financial backing from HOOPP, a Canadian pension fund, in 2013, allowing the development to start.