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James and James has signed a 10-year lease on Liberty 196 – a new Prologis and Equation Properties facility on Brackmills Industrial Estate in Northampton, UK.

Liberty 196 is set to become operational in late July, following a fit out by Prologis and James and James, to include racking and employee welfare facilities. Construction of a mezzanine level will begin in 2021, creating an operational space of 600,000 sq ft – six times the size of the company’s current UK fulfilment centre, also on Brackmills.

James and James will run the two locations in parallel, before moving fully to Liberty 196 in 2021. With considerably more loading bays and parking for both cars and cycles, the new facility will not only provide additional space, but enable James and James to increase operational efficiencies and headcount, and implement a new green travel plan.

James Hyde, CEO and Co-founder, James and James Fulfilment, says: “We’ve been nearing capacity at our current site for some time. But with the current crisis creating additional demand for our services – and social distancing – the need to expand has become more pressing. Liberty 196 is an impressive facility and we’re excited to move in, to unlock the next phase of our growth.”

Alan Sarjant, from the Leasing and Development team at Prologis UK, said: “This letting to James and James at Liberty 196 is really positive news in the current climate and underpins the importance of Northampton as a central and crucial hub for UK logistics. eCommerce fulfilment is a segment of the market that has been experiencing strong growth for some time, and the recent lockdown situation has generated considerable additional demand.

“Alongside managing the property, we’ll be helping James and James with the fit out of the main building and its employee welfare facilities. With this new fulfilment centre at Liberty 196, the business will be operating alongside some big household names and we’re sure the additional capacity will bring them continued success and help to grow the business even further.”

The move follows an £11 million investment in James and James in March 2020, by private equity firm LDC – part of Lloyds Banking Group. Hadlands acted as the tenant’s agents, and Burbage Realty and DTRE acted for the landlord. James and James were advised by HCR Law on the deal.

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