Andy Smith, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, has lauded the news that a new logistics centre is set to be built at the Port of Tilbury, saying the area could now become a “logistics hub for the nation”, according to the Thurrock Gazette.

Plans for the London Distribution Park (LDP) were first proposed a little over a year ago, and the project has now moved onto the next stage after Roxhill Development purchased the 70-acre site from Forth Ports.

With construction due to begin in the early months of this year, hopes are high that the first businesses will be able to move in to the 940,000 sq ft of warehouse, industrial, and office space before the end of 2013.

It is thought the site could generate up to 1,100 jobs both in the park and surrounding area, with the Port of Tilbury set to benefit greatly.

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, which owns the Port of Tilbury, says the LDP will transform the facility into “London’s leading distribution hub”, with plenty of new careers in logistics set to be created.

Elsewhere, a new warehouse facility could be on the horizon in Hertfordshire, after Prologis secured outline planning permission for a 456,110 sq ft development in Buntingford.

Plans have had to be scaled down slightly and some offices have been relocated in order to limit the effect of the project on neighbouring businesses and residents, but it thought the facility could still provide up 600 new jobs.

Distribution service providers are set to benefit greatly from the new developments, therefore helping the national supply chain expand its capacity.

In order to take full advantage of this, international transport and distribution links will have to be increased, which is why supply chain bosses will be pleased to hear that the head of one of North America’s largest transport system has been appointed to the campaign board for the re-opening of Plymouth Airport, after Sutton Harbour Holdings announced in December 2011 that it was to close the facility.

The appointment of Andy Byford, the chief executive of the Toronto Transit Commission, as a non-executive director of Viable Plymouth Ltd – the company bidding to purchase and re-open the airport – has led to increased hopes that the facility can begin operating again in the near future.

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