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Onward Holdings aims to put Wakefield at centre of E-Commerce revolution

Whilst much has been written about the downturn in traditional high street retailing, e-commerce UK based sales continues to grow at around 10% per year according to the Centre for Retail Research, despite the slow domestic economy. These findings are supported by the Office for National Statistics, whose latest report records 32 million people (66% of all adults) in Great Britain are purchasing goods or services over the internet in 2011, representing a whopping 63% increase over the previous year.

Running an e-commerce based business is very different from a high street retail operation and requires significant storage space as well as good internet connections, low cost labour and quick access to the road and rail network. The availability of suitable business units to fulfil these demanding objectives is in short supply and to meet market demand, Onward Holdings, is making available two suitable e-commerce units at South Kirkby, near Wakefield.

Both units are on Langthwaite Business Park which has easy access to the motorway network and the great container ports of the North, including Immingham, and is just 19 miles from Doncaster airport.

Onward Holdings a West Yorkshire based warehousing group has two adjacent e-fulfilment operations to let, with a combined 212,500 square feet of storage (122,800 and just under 90,000 square feet respectively), and a total of 14 loading docks. Impressively, each unit is capable of accommodating when racked up to 24,000 Standard pallets. Onward Holdings also has a number of smaller units with optional order fulfilment for SME e-commerce businesses.

Unit 16, which is the larger e-fulfilment warehouse, incorporates a host of key e-commerce features including eight dock levellers and four surface loading doors, a 10,000 square-foot loading canopy, plus a 1,000 KVA mains supply, making it suitable for a wide range of e-commerce activities. Typical processing applications for both units could include computers, carpets, electronics, household fancy goods, stationery, clothing, car parts and numerous related activities.

There is also generous external manoeuvring and parking areas for support staff, while a £1 million investment in the estate security system also makes the units suitable for both ordinary and high value products such as watches and IT items.

Due to the proximity of the M1, M62 and M18, the site benefits from excellent distribution connections and is also close to the railway freight network via the nearby Wakefield Europort. Around 80% of the UK’s population is accessible in four hours, making the site especially suitable for consumer related items.

As a further bonus, Wakefield Metropolitan Council is also dispensing, subject to finalisation with the West Yorkshire LEP and the Government, grants of up to £10,000 for each new job created on the site. Although the precise terms of how the grant funding will work has still to be finalised, the access to this level of funding should make the site even more attractive to those needing to recruit.

Onward Holdings director Neil Storey, said: "Langthwaite Business Park’s location is ideal for e-fulfilment and e-commerce type companies who need easy access to the ports for imported items whilst also quick entrance to the motorway network for deliveries. The quality of unit build, special features such as the high bay 300 lux internal lighting on unit 16 and the six dock loading bays on 16a, along with both their extensive storage capabilities, makes them the ideal choice for big internet sellers."

The company, which operates a number of highly competitively priced industrial warehousing and retail parks in the North of England, built the two substantial warehouses on the site, the last being only a few years ago and has just designated them as suitable for e-fulfilment work. Potentially, the units have the capability to create a further 100 new jobs.

Langthwaite Business Park already hosts a number of other businesses including The Ice Co Storage and Logistics, Forest Freight and Great Bear Distribution. Promotion of the site is being undertaken jointly by GVA and Andrew Miller Chartered Surveyors of Sheffield, who are handling the letting of the final unit. To promote the different options, Onward Holdings will be exhibiting at IMHX in the UKWA Pavilion, NEC from March the 19 to 22nd 2013.

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