Vitacress, Europe’s leading grower and packer of ready-to-eat salads, has signed a 10-year lease on a 5,965 sq m (64,212 sq ft) distribution centre, doubling its footprint on site.
The company, which employs hundreds of staff in the UK, plans to turn Unit 2a at Minton Distribution Park in London Road, Amesbury, into a state-of-the-art packaging plant, with unit 5 and part of unit 4 also leased.
Mike Rushworth, Managing Director, Vitacress Salads UK, said: “With a range of innovative products due to come on stream, a new packaging plant at Unit 2b will supply the market to meet growing demand from retailers and health-conscious consumers. This will create new jobs on this site.
“Just half an hour away by road from our watercress farms at St Mary Bourne, near Andover, which are the biggest in Europe, the site is ideally located, with superb transport links to further enhance our supply chain logistics.
“The new facility, which will be of the highest standard, will complement our on-site refrigeration storage for our products, which are renowned for freshness and flavour.”
Vitacress is involved in the entire operation of its business, from fields to foodstores.
The vertically integrated process sees crops sown and harvested before being transported, inspected, packed, weighed, palleted and delivered – all controlled by Vitacress and delivered within 24 hours of being ordered.
Salisbury-based commercial property consultancy Myddelton & Major acted for the landlord, London-based Minton Industrial Properties, part of the Minton Group.
Dean Speer, a partner at Myddelton & Major, said: “This deal is one of the largest of its kind in recent years in Wiltshire, based on footprint size, and Minton Distribution Park continues to deliver with the expansion of Vitacress.”
Ashley Bourne of Minton Industrial Properties said: “The park, located by the A303 with excellent road links to the West Country and from the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, is thriving, offering a home to local, national and international businesses at the best value rents in the county.”
Smiths Gore represented Vitacress in the deal, which was for an undisclosed rent.
Minton owns 25 commercial sites with more than 150 tenants across the UK.