A 30,000 sq. ft distribution centre completed by Wharton Construction for home improvements supplier MB DIY has been instrumental in the company increasing its turnover by £1m.

The family-run business says its decision to invest £2.5m in the purpose-built premises in Middlesbrough, which opened in 2019, helped MB DIY overcome and respond to the challenges of the past 12 months.

Its prominent South Bank Road location has increased footfall to its retail unit while the online business has grown rapidly, fuelled by the boom in lockdown DIY and an increased spend on home improvement projects.

Managing director Mike Greenup said: “The planning and design of the build meant we are now much leaner as a company, with adequate room for stock which is easily accessible, significantly reducing picking and packing time.

“In the two years that we have been in our new building we have reduced operating costs dramatically and increased our annual turnover by around seven per cent, equating to around an additional million pounds.”

The bespoke 30,000sq ft warehouse, which includes first floor office and retail space, was built by Darlington-based Wharton Construction. The project was supported with a £247,000 grant from the SSI Task Force.

Director Matthew Wharton said the pandemic has resulted in a sharp rise in online sales – which has meant logistics and distribution-based businesses need to invest in either expanding or creating new facilities to cope with the demand and to benefit from resulting cost efficiencies.

He said: “MB DIY is a prime example of a business that has reaped the rewards by investing in a new distribution centre – giving it the ability to respond to the challenges of the pandemic whilst giving it scope for future expansion.

“Demand for logistics and distribution space reached record levels towards the end of last year and that is a trend that’s likely to continue – reflecting the huge shift in consumer behaviour.”

Mike Greenup added: “Our previous facilities were spread over three buildings which made things logistically difficult, and this warehouse has provided us with one main distribution centre with adequate storage as well as room for further growth.

“As well as the obvious benefits that a purpose-built bespoke facility brings in terms of planning the premises, so they are completely fit for purpose, an added benefit was choosing the correct location which has increased footfall dramatically.”