The Range HQ to anchor new district centre for Derriford

A new headquarters for one of Plymouth’s best known brands could form the anchor development within a new district centre for Derriford, safeguarding hundreds of jobs and creating hundreds more.

CDS (Superstores International Ltd), the firm behind the Range Stores, which has 88 stores across the country, plan to invest £ 8 million in a new base for its operations.

As well as new purpose-built office for 700 employees, the Range will base their new ‘national training academy’ at Derriford, which will not only train new staff for The Range operations but also for other companies.

The company currently employs around 250 people at its existing head office but the new headquarters is being built to accommodate 700 people – with 450 new jobs being created.

The majority of the jobs at the academy will be high-quality, involving specialist skills such as graphic design and software writing. The proposal also includes a landmark Range store which will see a further 100 jobs created.

The announcement follows a recent decision by the Council’s Cabinet to approve the sale of 13 acres of Council-owned land at Seaton Barracks – a site earmarked as the preferred district centre in the Derriford and Seaton Area Action Plan.

Work is now progressing on detailed plans for this exciting new development which will form part of a new district centre with facilities for local residents.

Other proposals include

  • A new food store
  • Small-scale retail typical of local centres, such as a chemist, florist and dry cleaners
  • New community facilities
  • Cafes, restaurants and a pub
  • Over 100 new apartment-style homes

Once completed, the project could provide permanent employment for over 1,000 people, including staff at the new CDS headquarters.

Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “We have some big hitters showing real interest in this proposal and are delighted that Chris Dawson and his company are keen to get involved.

“Plymouth is a city committed to growth in a sustainable way and creating the right conditions for investors is vitally important to us. It’s also great to see a successful local company with national and international links committed to Plymouth and our growth ambitions.”

Chris Dawson, the owner and founder of CDS said: “This is the single most exciting project that I have been involved in for a long time.

“The opportunity to commit my company’s long-term future and head office jobs to Plymouth has been a dream of mine for some time now and I am grateful to Plymouth City Council for sharing my vision.”

Chris said: “I have continued growth plans for The Range chain of stores and business activities to support these operations such as buying, logistics marketing and accounts are all increasing on a regular basis. This project will provide me with enough space to grow these teams as well as consolidate a number of other business activities.”

The proposals for the scheme are being led by London-based developer, Petros. The Council’s Cabinet agreed that the majority of the site is to be sold to Petros, with the remainder being sold directly to CDS. A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year. The land is not yet sold and any sale will be subject to a conditional contract.

Petros is working with a number of retailers in order to secure a vibrant mix of tenants who will help deliver a landmark project on this site. They have a track record of developing retail and district centres across the country. For more information visit the Petros website.

These proposals are at an early stage and will be subject to the normal planning and public consultation processes.

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Tudor Evans and Chris Dawson


Tudor Evans and Chris Dawson 24 April 2014