- Setting a new standard for UK logistics real estate
- iPort is our flagship development in the UK and the country’s most advanced multimodal logistics hub. On completion it will extend to 600,000 sq m of logistics space operating 24/7, with an on-site intermodal rail terminal and substantial areas given over to wildlife and biodiversity – all on 342 ha outside Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
- Spotting untapped potential
- Verdion first saw the site’s potential in the early 2000s. At this stage, it was waterlogged land with limited access, but the fundamentals were very strong. Above all, it had rare potential for a strategic rail freight interchange that could be integrated with a state-of-the-art logistics park to offer modern, sustainable supply chain services across the country and into Europe. Its reach puts most of the country within a four-hour drive, it has a massive 52MVA of power, and its growing local workforce was seeking new opportunities following the mining industry’s decline.
- Developing strong local relationships
- Since the beginning, we’ve worked closely with local and regional authorities, neighbouring landowners, business organisations and the local community to bring forward a major park, access road – the Great Yorkshire Way – and strategic rail freight terminal – all with our funding partner, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).
- How is Verdion adding value?
- When development is complete, we forecast at least €600m will have been directly invested into iPort through Verdion, augmented by the significant local investment our occupiers are making.
- New transport infrastructure
- Central to our plans was a new strategic rail freight terminal, drawing on Doncaster’s rich railway history and complementing the site’s new road connections. Opened in September 2018 by HRH Princess Royal and operated independently by Verdion, the award-winning terminal has gone from strength to strength. It now operates six trains a day and in its first year alone took more than 22,520 HGVs off the roads, reducing carbon and other noxious emissions and bringing environmental benefits to businesses that use its facilities.
- A base for high-profile businesses
- Amazon was among the first occupiers to sign a deal in 2016, and less than 12 months later we delivered the company a new €117 million logistics facility. The 100,000 sq m bespoke warehouse is 0.5 kilometres long – equivalent in size to 14 football pitches – while the building design is state of the art, finished with Amazon’s unique cutting-edge interior fit-out. Since then the range of businesses basing themselves here has grown, with Lidl, Maritime Transport, Kingsbury Press, Woodland Group and Dusk all joining CEVA, Fellowes and Amazon. Their buildings are constructed to high environmental standards with Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) rating A. All have been certified as BREEAM Very Good, including roofs ready to house solar panels in line with occupiers’ operational requirements, and infrastructure for installing electric vehicle charging points.
- Investing in the community
- In 2017, Verdion won the Game Changer Award by Yorkshire Property Awards, which recognises projects or deals “which have had a material effect on the surrounding environment or on the market…and which show excellence in conception, design and execution”. Part of this was down to the iPort Academy. Funded by Verdion, the academy works with local job-seekers to offer training and puts them in touch with businesses at iPort that have vacancies to fill. On completion of the park, the workforce here is expected to be around 5,000 people. To offset the environmental impact of constructing on this greenfield site, Verdion allocated approximately 50% of the total land area (162 ha) as open green space, including forests, meadows and a large area dedicated to wetlands and wildlife, created with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and open for everyone to enjoy. iPort also benefits from a Green Travel Plan that Verdion administers, encouraging people coming to the site to use alternative forms of transport to cars, such as cycling, walking, public transport, and ridesharing. As well as bringing forward the new road, Verdion voluntarily constructed dedicated cycleways and walking routes to connect iPort to residential areas of Doncaster and help increase these sustainable transport options. Cllr Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Economic Development at Doncaster Council, said: “The growth at iPort has been astonishing. The site has already welcomed globally recognised tenants and the opening of its rail freight facility is another big step forward for Verdion’s ambitious plans. It was our forward-thinking vision to create Great Yorkshire Way which has seen iPort develop at such a rapid rate, boosting our growing economy. iPort is a huge success story for Doncaster and the wider region.”
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