A transport firm is delivering up to 150 new jobs after snapping up an empty warehouse in Staffordhsire.
REL Storage and Logistics, which is headquartered in Peterborough, has acquired the former XPO Logistics site on Stone Business Park.
The 108,000 sq ft building has stood vacant since last year when Sainsbury’s relocated to a new national distribution centre in Northampton.
Now REL has taken on the site as part of its plans for national expansion.
The warehouse will be used as a storage facility for frozen and chilled products which are then delivered to retailers across the UK via REL’s 50-strong fleet on behalf of its clients.
Up to 150 jobs are also being created as part of the deal and recruitment is now underway for drivers, transport and warehouse team members and management.
REL Storage and Logistics CEO Adam Lewis said: “This represents an excellent opportunity for us to expand our operations. We have 40 to 50 trucks in that region on a daily basis already and this will provide a new hub for our expanding operations.
“Over time we will see the site reach capacity of 60 trucks and 60 trailers operating daily out of Stone and plans are already underway to expand the site capacity to in excess of 12,000 pallet spaces.
“I remember working in the warehouse one summer scraping ice from the warehouse floor, dodging fork lift trucks as they whizzed past me. So, it’s incredibly pleasing to be able to bring so many new jobs to the region that I grew up in and where my whole family still live.”
REL Storage and Logistics – which boasts revenues of £25 million – has recently undertaken a number of strategic developments as part of its plans to double turnover and float within the next three years.
This includes the expansion of its site in Peterborough as well as the acquisition of Beattie Brothers in Stevenage and a haulier in Milton Keynes.
Mr Lewis added: “We have huge plans for the business and are on the acquisition trail, talking to companies on an ongoing basis with a view to expand our national footprint.
“We offer a real alternative to the ‘big boys’ and are able to offer competitive rates alongside a more personal service.
“We worked with a major UK client to bring this site back to life and get the chillers going, and are talking to others who want an operator to take the stress out of operating their own sites, with the comfort of working with professionals who do this for a living as a partnership.”
Sara Williams, chief executive of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s great to see that yet another high profile business has been impressed with Staffordshire’s skilled workforce, great transport links and business growth potential.
“Covid-19 has caused unprecedented economic challenges but this development shows that investors have confidence in our region and that Staffordshire is very much open for business.”