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Prime Minister welcomes plans for new Waitrose distribution centre

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes the Chorley RDC project which will create 600 jobs in Chorley and pave the way for one billion pounds investment over next three years.

Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price has today met with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss plans for a new £35m regional distribution centre (RDC) in Chorley, Lancashire which will create up to 600 jobs and make it possible for the chain to open 100 shops and create 10,000 new jobs (3,000 of them in the north) over the next three years.

Mr Price met the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester and detailed the development of the 30-acre Chorley site and the company’s future investment plans.

Mark Price said today: “This new distribution centre will support the growth of our business, be a boost for the North West, create 600 new jobs for the region and make it possible for us to invest one billion pounds in Britain over the next three years.

“The new shops we are now planning will mean 10,000 more jobs and one billion pounds of additional business going to producers, farmers and growers in the British food industry.”

The Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This billion pound investment is great news for the north of England and the country as a whole.

“The new regional distribution centre will give a boost to Chorley and the surrounding areas, not just by creating 600 jobs immediately, but in paving the way for tens of thousands more.”

The 360,000sq ft Chorley warehouse, 50,000sq ft of office space and a vehicle maintenance unit will allow Waitrose to service up to 80 branches as part of its rapidly growing portfolio of shops in the North of England and Scotland.

Until six years ago the most northerly Waitrose store was in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Waitrose has since embarked on the biggest period of expansion in its history, including opening seven stores in the North West, seven in Yorkshire, three in the North East and several in Scotland.

The new RDC will be up and running by autumn 2012. The recruitment process for drivers, warehouse operatives, office and catering staff will begin in spring 2012.

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