An impression of A.F. Blakemore’s new distribution centre at Manton Lane, Bedford

A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd has signed a pre-let agreement for a new purpose-built warehouse in Bedford, with potential job opportunities for 200 people in the area.

The 164,850 sq ft multi-temperature distribution facility in Manton Lane, on lease for 20 years, is due to take occupancy in 2021, subject to receiving planning permission.

The new site is part of Blakemore’s growth plans and will complement its existing network of distribution centres.

“The move will strengthen our reputation as a national food distributor, enable us to continue to improve our service to customers and ensure the long-term sustainability of the business,” said Geoff Hallam, joint managing director.

The Manton Lane distribution centre is expected to provide the business with additional supply-chain capacity to support targeted growth across its retail, wholesale and foodservice divisions.

The firm currently operates distribution centres in the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, East Sussex and South Wales. The company’s headquarters will remain in Willenhall, West Midlands.