COUNTY NEWS: New John Lewis ‘hub’ to create 60 jobs in Sussex
Up to 60 new jobs will be created thanks to a major commercial property deal in Sussex.
Leading department store group John Lewis has signed up to build a new 50,000 square foot distribution customer delivery hub on a 3.9 acre serviced site on the Ashdown Business Park at Maresfield, near Uckfield.
The new distribution warehouse will service John Lewis department stores in Kingston and Bluewater and John Lewis ‘at homes’ in Croydon, Chichester, Tunbridge Wells and Horsham.
Building starts next month and the warehouse should be ready for occupation in the autumn. The deal was structured by Chris Lawson of Uckfield property firm Lawson Commercial, which acted for the seller Summerthorne Estates. John Lewis and Evander Properties were represented by Vail Williams LLP of Crawley.
Wealden MP Nus Ghani said: “John Lewis is a fantastic household name and I’m not at all surprised that it has chosen Wealden as the home for its new distribution hub. The creation of 60 new jobs is a massive boost, and John Lewis’ decision will hopefully encourage more national and international businesses to move to Uckfield and the surrounding area.”
Chris Lawson said: “I am absolutely delighted we have been able to sell the first plot on the Ashdown Business Park to such a well-known and leading UK business. It is tremendous news for the town of Uckfield and I hope that it will attract other businsses to the Park. We already have negotiations in hand on two of the remaining nine plots.”
Wealden’s economic development cabinet member Roy Galley said: “John Lewis’ decision is a welcome boost for employment in the north of Wealden and the commitment of this major household name underlines that Wealden continues is very much open for business. The project has benefited from the early discussions between the Partnership and Wealden’s planners which have helped ensure the proposals are right for the area.”
Vail Williams partner Andrew Osborne added: “Securing this significant site was a crucial step in bringing 60 new jobs to the area. It is a fantastic result for the people of Uckfield, the local economy and John Lewis as a company. The challenge was to find a site with planning, in the right location, at the right price. We used our local knowledge and expertise to deliver the property solution John Lewis needed.”
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