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Lidl UK has announced the opening of its latest Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), located at iPort in Doncaster, providing a major boost to the local economy through the creation of hundreds of new jobs.
The warehouse, which represents a £70m investment in Lidl’s expansion and logistics, will initially provide support to 53 Lidl stores across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the Midlands, with this number expected to grow.
Earlier this month, Lidl opened a new store in neighbouring Rossington, and has plans to open two further stores, in Rotherham, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Mapplewell by the end of 2019.
At 58,000sq m (625,000sq ft), the distribution centre is the supermarket’s biggest to date, with 3,900 pallets of products projected to pass through the premises every day.
Tsvetelina Butrakova, Lidl UK Regional Director for Doncaster, said: “We’re extremely excited to mark the start of the year with the opening of our Doncaster distribution centre, which plays an essential role in enabling us to meet growing customer demand for Lidl products.
“The centre also underlines our commitment to creating more job opportunities, and I am so incredibly proud of the team that we have here in Doncaster and across our stores, whose hard work and dedication has enabled us to get where we are today”.
Employees at the warehouse and store will benefit from an increase in pay, after the supermarket announced that it would once again match the voluntary Living Wage rate, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. The new salaries of £9.00 per hour, increased from £8.75, will come into effect from 1st March 2019 and will be 10% higher than the Government’s ‘National Living Wage’. Employees will also receive a comprehensive benefits package including company pension scheme, employee discount and an enhanced holiday entitlement.
Lidl opened its first British-based RDC in 1994 in Lutterworth and currently has warehouses in 12 other locations up and down the country, including Southampton, Northfleet, Enfield, Belvedere, Bridgend, Livingston, Lutterworth, Avonmouth, Newton Aycliffe, Wednesbury, Exeter and Runcorn.
The warehouse is Lidl’s third to open in the past two years, with plans for four further regional distribution centres to open by 2025, along with the relocation of its Livingston warehouse to Eurocentral, near Motherwell. The investment underlines the supermarket’s commitment to the sustainable growth of the business, both in the region and across the rest of the UK.
Since Lidl first opened its doors in the UK in 1994 it has been responding to growing customer demand, with an existing store portfolio of 740 and plans to open more than 50 new stores a year.