Construction equipment maker JCB is opening a hub in North Staffordshire in the UK to receive inbound components for shipment its manufacturing plants around the world.

When fully operational the facility will have throughput in the region of 40m parts per annum or around 500,000 pallets according to JCB's Joannes Van Osta, general manager for group transport and logistics. It will begin operations with 5,000 stock keeping units (SKUs).

The company will lease the UK facility, which is in the Blue Planet warehouse on a site in Chatterley Valley, from property developer Gazeley on a long-term basis. The facility boasts the environmental credential of being the first logistics building to receive an 'Outstanding' BREEAM rating; BREEAM is an environmental rating system for buildings established in 2008.

The hub is located near Newcastle-under-Lyme next to the A500 and M6 motorways. JCB has also signed an option to purchase an adjacent 3 hectares of land from Newcastle Borough Council to allow for future expansion.

It will be operated by “a global logistics partner”, though JCB did not name the provider at this stage.

JCB works extensively with DHL Supply chain as a lead logistics provider for much of its inbound supply chain. 

The UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund has offered JCB £2.9m ($43.6m) to support job creation on the site and to provide training programmes.

“We need growth that is more evenly balanced across the country,” said Vince Cable, the UK’s business secretary.“That is why we are supporting firms such as JCB through the Regional Growth Fund, which will enhance their infrastructure and bring long-term employment to the area.”

The hub will be commissioned this month, according to a statement from JCB, and by the end of the year it will employ around 60 people. Employment levels are expected to rise to more than 300 people, once the facility becomes fully operational in the next two years.

“Staffordshire is where JCB’s business started nearly 68 years ago, and I’m delighted that our latest expansion is creating jobs in the county which has been our home for so long,” said CEO Alan Blake. “Staffordshire is a fantastic place to do business and this site offers some huge advantages for JCB, particularly with transport links to the A500 and M6.”

JCB has 11 plants in the UK and 11 overseas.