iPort is our flagship development in the UK and the country’s most advanced multimodal logistics hub. This €1bn park outside Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has capacity for 600,000 sq m of logistics space operating 24/7, with an on-site intermodal rail terminal and substantial areas given over to wildlife and biodiversity.
When development is complete, we forecast at least €600m will have been directly invested into iPort through Verdion, augmented by the significant local investment our occupiers are making.
We first saw the site’s potential in the early 2000s. Its reach puts most of the country within a four-hour drive, it has a massive power capacity, and its growing local workforce was seeking new opportunities following the mining industry’s decline.
We’ve since worked closely with local and regional authorities, neighbouring landowners, business organisations and the local community to bring forward a major park, access road – the Great Yorkshire Way – and strategic rail freight terminal – all with our partner, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).
Central to our plans was a new strategic rail freight terminal, drawing on Doncaster’s rich railway history and complementing the site’s new road connections. Opened in September 2018 by HRH Princess Royal and operated independently by Verdion, the award-winning terminal has gone from strength to strength. It now operates six trains a day and in its first year alone took more than 22,520 HGVs off the roads, reducing carbon and emissions and bringing environmental benefits to its occupiers.
Amazon was among the first to sign a deal in 2016, and less than 12 months later we delivered the company a new €117 million customer fulfilment centre. The 100,000 sq m bespoke warehouse is 0.5 kilometres long – equivalent in size to 14 football pitches – while the building design is state of the art, finished with Amazon’s unique cutting-edge interior fit-out.
Since then the range of businesses basing themselves here has grown, from Amazon to Lidl and beyond. All buildings are constructed to high environmental standards with Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) rating A, and are certified as BREEAM Very Good, with roofs ready to house solar panels in line with occupiers’ operational requirements, and infrastructure for installing electric vehicle charging points.
iPort has been designed to have a positive impact on the local area in addition to the approximately 5,000 new construction and full time employment that will be created when the site is fully leased.
400 acres of designated green space and nature reserve have been created for public use and given over to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Verdion co-funds the iPort Academy, which offers training and connects local jobseekers with businesses relocating or growing here. It also supports the local community – from neonatal care and computers for schools to sponsoring Rossington FC and the Rossington Festival.
iPort also benefits from a Green Travel Plan that Verdion administers, encouraging people coming to the site to use alternative forms of transport to cars, such as cycling, walking, public transport, and ridesharing.
As well as bringing forward the new road, Verdion voluntarily constructed dedicated cycleways and walking routes to connect iPort to residential areas of Doncaster and help increase these sustainable transport options.