Ultimate Group has swooped for one of the two new high-spec buildings on Grimsby’s Europarc.
The company has signed the lease with developer Wykeland Group to take on the 30,000 sq ft facility, the largest of the two additions to the town’s flagship business park.
It comes after the £50 million firm – the largest independent food-focused flexible packaging manufacturer in the UK – saw demand soar from supermarket-serving customers during lockdown.
Managing director Jeremy Hodson had underlined the desire to expand the existing 120,000 sq ft footprint following the addition of new equipment early last month.
John Gouldthorp, asset manager for Wykeland, the Hull-based owner and developer of Europarc, said: “We’re delighted Ultimate Group has committed to this major new facility, which will increase significantly its already substantial presence on site.
“Being based at Europarc has proven to be a key factor in the success of the business and has provided an important platform for growth.
“We’re always very pleased to see tenant businesses grow within our portfolio and we were happy for Ultimate Group to take a further building, which meets their needs now and into the future.
“Securing such a prestigious end user ahead of build completion justifies our commitment to the continued expansion of Europarc with this speculative investment in further high-quality facilities, especially in these uncertain times.”
Ultimate Group is expected to occupy the new building in the next few weeks, and Wykeland is now in discussions with a number of interested parties for the second unit, which has a 15,000 sq ft floorspace. Both have been built by Grimsby-area firm JemBuild.
Mr Hodson said: “The additional control we will have from insourcing more of our warehousing and the increased overall capacity this transaction gives us is an essential part of our organic growth plans for the future.
“Having the additional space will give us many more opportunities to be more flexible in our use of our overall Europarc footprint to facilitate better workflows and increased efficiency, resulting in being able to be even more agile and cost-effective throughout our operations.
“It’s extremely challenging to move operations around and locate new machinery when running 24/7 and this investment will definitely free up much-needed space to help us to achieve that too.”
A total of 20 jobs are expected to be created as further work is won.
The £3.6 million development has been supported by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Pat Doody, chair, said: “We are delighted to have provided £1.8m towards this important scheme which will help support the growth and expansion of our food sector.
“The leasing of this unit to Ultimate confirms that we made a wise decision to contribute our funding to these bespoke units in the Europarc Food Enterprise Zone, and we look forward to seeing the wider economic benefits of this investment.”
Regional Growth Minister Simon Clarke added: “When we invested £1.8m in the Europarc scheme through the Local Growth Fund, our ambition was to unlock jobs and boost the number of businesses in the area.
“That is why I am so pleased to see that Ultimate Group have expanded their business at this facility.
“This is great news for the people of Grimsby and is the latest project to unlock 20 new jobs while supporting growth in the local area.”
In addition to the 15,000 sq ft building now available, Europarc has other sites which can accommodate units of up to 260,000 sq ft, to meet the specific requirements of end users, with outline planning permission in place.