Henderson Group, the local business that owns the SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO franchises in Northern Ireland, is investing £25million in new facilities at its base in Mallusk.
The investment covers the purchase of new land and the construction of a new distribution centre, trailer park and head office facility to replace the original structures that have been in place at Hightown Avenue since 1974.
The investment is set to facilitate business growth and secure employment across all four companies within the Group, which currently has a 2,800-strong workforce - a figure that has doubled in the last 10 years.
One aspect of the new headquarters structure is already under way, with the new office facility contract being awarded to Ballymena firm Martin & Hamilton Construction. A £4.5m refurbishment and extension of the existing building will double its size and bring many departments that are currently housed in different buildings into one central facility, thus creating a more efficient and contemporary environment.
The new main office facility is expected to be fully operational by October 2016.
As well as the main office refurbishment, £1.1m has already been invested in the construction of a new, state-of-the-art trailer park which houses Henderson Wholesale’s 92-strong distribution fleet. The new trailer park boasts extra charging points and fuelling and washing facilities which will help relieve congestion, reduce lead times and ultimately provide a more efficient distribution service for customers. The Group has also purchased four new double decker lorries with compartments for both ambient and chilled products, this will further ensure energy and logistic efficiency across the network.
Brothers Martin and Geoffrey Agnew, Managing Directors of the Henderson Group, are confident the new developments and expansions will serve the Group well for the future.
Martin commented: “We make no secret that our profits are re-invested into the business. This major investment in the development of a new main office and distribution site shows our commitment to providing a better working environment for our employees, as well as a more efficient way of working to benefit our retailers and logistics department. We are confident this growth will bring future employment opportunities across all departments and companies that make up the Henderson Group.”
Geoffrey added: “We are delighted phase one of the development is well under way, and work will begin early in 2016 on the recently acquired Hydepark distribution warehouse that was purchased in 2014. This will see the beginning of our new warehouse developments to house Henderson Wholesale’s ambient range.
“This move will ensure we can facilitate the continued and strong growth of our fresh and ambient departments across both Henderson Foodservice and Henderson Wholesale.”