SmartParc Partners with SEGRO to Deliver High-Tech Food Manufacturing & Distribution Campus

April 17, 2023

SmartParc partners with SEGRO to deliver a 2m sq ft high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus on 155-acre site in Derby.

The final step has been achieved to enable the 2m sq ft, high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus on the 155-acre former Celanese site in Derby to proceed.

SmartParc has announced SEGRO as its development partner. SEGRO will work with SmartParc to create a new asset class dedicated to ‘state of the art’ food manufacturing and distribution. SmartParc SEGRO Derby paves the way for the food industry to collaborate to meet the challenges of sustainable production whilst addressing the need for efficient direct routes to consumers.

As development partner, SEGRO will provide a multi-million-pound investment to regenerate the brownfield site. SmartParc will provide the onsite managed services, supporting the food community to increase production efficiency and drive reduced operational costs through collaborative working. SmartParc’s revolutionary energy sharing infrastructure will utilise wind and solar combined with central services, to deliver the most sustainable food production community in the country.

The announcement of the partnership follows Derby City Council granting planning permission in June and the agreement of grant funding contributions from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council.

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has allocated £12 million towards the project from the Government’s Getting Building Fund – the largest single allocation from D2N2’s £44 million allocation.

SmartParc was founded to address the challenges facing the food sector. The 1.85m sqft collaborative hub in Derby represents a pioneering technical breakthrough. It will provide food manufacturing facilities ranging from start-up incubation units through to large-scale manufacturing facilities ranging from 50,000 – 400,000 sq ft. The site will also be home to a Food Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence to future-proof the food industry, offering education and career opportunities to secure both the local and global food supply chains.

SmartParc will provide a new sustainable blueprint for the food industry. Climate change has highlighted the need for far-reaching industry change and, in response, SmartParc will re-engineer current food manufacturing and distribution processes. It will create a new, forward-thinking ecosystem of food production, looking towards new technologies such as vertical farming to disconnect weather from our ability to produce sustainable food.

This mission begins with SmartParc SEGRO Derby as the flagship site. Building on Derby’s heritage as a site of cutting-edge engineering, SmartParc will create 5,000 direct jobs and enable a new collaborative, flexible work model to accommodate people’s evolving lifestyles with the ambition of reconnecting the local community to food production.

SmartParc SEGRO Derby will be home to the first low-carbon food manufacturing community. A central distribution hub to consolidate goods in deliveries will streamline the distribution chain, providing a reduction in cost for occupiers whilst improving sustainability by eliminating food miles. From design and material selection to support for eventual occupiers, SmartParc and SEGRO will help to ensure excellent environmental performance and bold efficiency gains at the ground-breaking site.

Jackie Wild, SmartParc CEO said: “We are delighted to announce SEGRO as our development partner as we work towards our goal of building the first world-leading, sustainable, high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus at SmartParc SEGRO Derby.”

“Our partnership with SEGRO and the continued support of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council will enable us to bring jobs to the region and address the increasingly critical challenges facing food manufacturing supply chains.”

“We want to thank everyone involved in realising this vision in record time. From the first walk around site in May 2020 to starting on site in September 2021- it shows what can be achieved when everyone pushes in the same direction with a shared agenda.”

“The creation of this dedicated asset class is pivotal in achieving a more sustainable future for food production and giving a framework for the food industry to build upon. We want to embrace Derby’s engineering heritage to ensure that SmartParc is the home of the next food revolution. We already have a significant level of interest from manufacturers and retailers both from the UK and overseas and we are starting work immediately so we can welcome our first ‘collaborators’ to SmartParc early next year.”

Andrew Pilsworth, Managing Director, National Logistics at SEGRO, added: “SmartParc’s bold new concept for food manufacturing and distribution has the potential to be a true game-changer. Over the last 18 months we’ve seen the importance of having robust supply chains closer to home and being able to quickly and efficiently distribute goods. SmartParc enables both of these within the vital food and drink sector and does so while keeping sustainability at its heart. We look forward to working together to make the concept a success.”

“By backing innovative projects like this one, we are levelling up areas across the country by building stronger and more resilient local economies, which can support jobs and prosperity in our communities.”

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council commented: “We are delighted with the progress so far in the SmartParc scheme”.

“The project is hugely welcome in Derby, fitting perfectly into our aims to boost our economy and job market and to further diversify the city.”

“The thousands of new jobs that will be created is a fantastic prospect and we look forward to seeing the partnership between SmartParc and SEGRO develop to achieve this.”

Chris Radlett, Vice President of Manufacturing for Celanese also said: “Celanese is pleased to have worked closely with local and regional authorities and the developers, to provide our site to help create jobs and enable more sustainable food production. This is a fitting next step for the site and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbours.”

With further comment from D2N2 LEP Chair, Elizabeth Fagan CBE: “Food and drink manufacturing is a key investment priority for our region. The LEP’s £12 million investment will support the creation of a world-leading sustainable food-manufacturing facility that will deliver pioneering innovation, create thousands of jobs and transform the local economy.”