UK Mail secures planning approval for new hub
UK Mail Group has received planning permission to build its new central hub near Coventry. The company is relocating its current hub from Birmingham because the site is on the planned route for the government’s high speed rail (HS2) project, which runs from London to Northern England.
The government’s Department for Transport will be supporting UK Mail’s relocation to a new 200,000 sq ft facility near Coventry.
The company said in a statement: “Construction is scheduled to commence in early 2014 and the move will take place over a period commencing in Spring 2015.”
As it relocates to the new hub, UK Mail is aiming to introduce “significantly” more automation to its operations, with new sorting equipment to be installed at the new hub.
Under the plans, the HS2 project will provide funding for the replacement of the existing facility, but UK Mail will fund parts of the project deemed as an upgrade compared to the current hub facility, expecting this to represent about £10m in investment.
The company is planning to invest about £20m in new sorting equipment for the new hub.
UK Mail, which operates 50 sites around the country in total, said it expects a double-digit return on the investment in hub automation technology.
UK Mail’s chief executive, Guy Buswell, said of the development: “This move will represent an important component of our plans to develop UK Mail into one of the leading and most advanced parcel carriers in the UK, with a new state-of-the-art, highly automated hub at the heart of our network.”