Wholesaler JW Filshill is to relocate to a brand new, purpose-built distribution centre at Westway Park, near Glasgow Airport after agreeing a deal with new landlord, Canmoor.
It would be Scotland’s largest industrial pre-let for five years and will see a 120,400 sq ft distribution centre developed for Filshill, incorporating 10,000 sq ft of office space for Filshill’s head office functions. The development process is likely to take 18 months to complete.
Planning permission has been sought from Renfrewshire Council for the development of a 6.7-acre site on the south side of the park.
Filshill, one of Scotland’s oldest independent food and drink wholesalers, supplies 185 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England.
With turnover on track to hit in excess of £155 million this year, Filshill has enjoyed rapid expansion in the last 20 years and now has over 1,400 delivered goods customers, including several national accounts such as the Scottish Prison Service and CalMac.
Growth has been fuelled by development of its core delivered wholesale business coupled with expansion of its craft beers and spirits business and international division which exports Scottish-produced beer, spirits and other food products to the rest of the world, Asia-Pacific in particular.
Simon Hannah, managing director of Filshill, said the move would future-proof the business, secure employment and improve efficiencies. “We can’t hold off waiting for Brexit. We need to get ready for the next phase of group growth, keep ourselves relevant to the ever changing market, ensure job security for our staff and continuously improve on providing service excellence to our customers – that’s all hugely important to us.
“Westway is an outstanding location for us, less than three miles from our current premises at Hillington and next to Glasgow Airport which will become increasingly important as we develop our international business in the coming years.
“Our business is successful because of our people, most of whom live in Renfrewshire, so finding new premises near their homes was a major consideration for us in choosing Westway, along with its prestigious and secure location.
“The facility is being built to our exact specification and will provide pallet capacity of 12,000 in a 14-metre high warehouse with 12 loading docks. There will also be 10,000 sq ft of fresh and chilled space to accommodate growth in this category and allow us to expand into the foodservice and on-trade sector in the future”
Rob Large, director of Canmoor, added: “To have a company of Filshill’s calibre make such a substantial commitment to Westway is a tremendous endorsement, following the significant investment and improvements we have made since purchasing last year.
“We are delighted to be able to assist Filshill facilitate its exciting expansion plans which will provide real employment opportunities in the area.”
Derek Mackay, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West said: “I am always delighted to welcome any investment coming to Renfrew – I look forward to hearing more about these proposals as they progress.”
Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce added: “This substantial investment demonstrates the ambition of Filshill as they continue expansion in UK and international markets”.
“To secure the long-term future of 200 jobs in Renfrewshire is great news and we welcome the decision. The purpose build facility at Westway in a secure location will enable Filshill to create future job growth. Renfrewshire’s excellent location with strong transport links, a skilled workforce and ambitious plans for investment around Glasgow Airport have all been important factors.”
Commenting on the industrial market in Scotland, Andrew McCracken, director of JLL, who represented Canmoor, said: “The industrial market is now at a stage where requirements such as this can only be accommodated by taking a pro-active, forward-thinking approach, which is what is being done by Canmoor at Westway.
“We have witnessed new degrees of optimism in the Renfrewshire market, with increased demand for space at Westway.”
Craig Semple, associate director of Avison Young, who represented Filshill added: “Westway offers the perfect location for Filshill and the landlord’s positive approach has enabled this deal to progress smoothly and meet the company’s business needs.”
Westway is located in the heart of the Glasgow Airport Investment area, which is one of the key City Deal projects that will benefit from £39.1m of inward investment over the next 10 years. This will deliver significant infrastructure investment to the area including a new two-lane bridge over the White Cart, directly linking Westway with the investment area and airport