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Yearsley Group begin £20m expansion in Heywood

Yearsley Group, the UK market leader in the distribution of frozen food, has started work on the £20 million expansion of its national headquarters in Hareshill, Heywood.

The expansion project concentrates on a 13.6 acre site, adjacent to Yearsley Group’s current headquarters.  It will create up to 150 new jobs and safeguard the roles of its existing 300 members of staff.

The site will accommodate a new 160,000 sq ft unit for the frozen food sales and logistics specialist, which will be built and fitted out in three phases. The first two phases of the project have begun and will comprise 100,000 sq ft, or 27,000 pallet spaces, with the remaining floor space and fit out to be completed in line with future demand.

The Group’s national headquarters currently has a 40,000 pallet capacity and the new cold store will provide a further 40,000 pallet spaces, doubling Heywood’s capacity and enabling the company to create a northern ‘super hub’.

Yearsley Group was established in 1955 and currently operates two separate divisions: food sales and global logistics.  In 1999, the group took advantage of Manchester’s ideal location as a hub for logistics and set up their national UK distribution centre in Heywood, Rochdale.

Harry Yearsley, managing director of Yearsley Group, said: “The Heywood cold store is currently near to full capacity so the expansion of our operation is in direct response to the demands of new and existing customers for whom this North West location is ideal. It will become the first of two national ‘super hubs’ for Yearsley Group, enabling us to consolidate more stock in single, strategically located stores, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing carbon output.

“The cold storage and distribution market has developed over recent years and customers at both ends of the supply chain are demanding faster, more efficient, environmentally conscious services from their logistics partners. The extension of Heywood will ultimately provide us with a frozen storage capacity of more than 80,000 pallets in one North West location, helping us to better meet the storage needs of manufacturing customers and the delivery requirements of retail and food service customers across the country.”

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, adds: “Hareshill is an important asset to Greater Manchester’s logistics infrastructure and we’re delighted that Yearsley Group has decided to further expand and invest in this key site in Rochdale.

“The city region serves as an excellent location for an operation of this scale, with access to more motorways than any other UK city, and up to 60% of UK companies within two hours drive-time. We’re confident that as Yearsley Group scale-up their operations, they will continue to benefit from being based within one of the best logistics hubs in the UK, with great assets such as Manchester Airport, the Manchester Ship Canal and the Trafford Park Euroterminal on their doorstep.”

Yearsley Group is joined by a number of major global organisations that have chosen Manchester as their preferred distribution hub.  These include Adidas, Argos, JJB Sports, Kellogg’s, L’Oréal, Next, Office Depot, Procter and Gamble, as well as major logistics firms like Kuehne & Nagel and Wincanton.

Yearsley Group’s cold storage and distribution division is the country’s largest provider of cold storage and logistics, with customers including Tesco, Asda, Heinz, Youngs and Brakes.

With 12 depots across the UK creating a national cold chain network, Yearsley Group offers a 280,000-pallet storage capacity for manufacturers and retailers in the frozen food sector, with a 300-strong fleet of temperature controlled vehicles providing three-day, next-day and just-in-time delivery options. It also now offers ambient and freight forwarding services.

MIDAS helps Manchester to forge links with China

Manchester is continuing to strengthen its links with the economic powerhouse of China, having recently hosted a successful visit to the city for the Chinese Embassy.

The two-day visit to Greater Manchester in May was supported by MIDAS, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), and China Britain Business Council (CBBC).

Representatives from the Chinese Embassy received a formal welcome at Manchester Town Hall by Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, before continuing with a series of meetings between the Chinese Embassy and some of Greater Manchester’s businesses that are either Chinese owned, or have trading links with the country.  These included Tetrosyl, Chint, Boardman Bros Ltd, Vernacare, CQME / Holroyds, and BDP Architects.

Zhou Xiaoming, minister counsellor for the Chinese Embassy, said: “We’ve visited quite a number of companies in the last two days.  We have talked with the City Council and have been impressed by what we have seen here, by the enthusiasm of the local companies to do business in China as well as the work they are already doing in the Chinese market.

“Manchester is well known in China for a number of reasons, but especially for its football: Manchester United and Manchester City have a large following in China. Manchester is also well known for its research and development.  The University of Manchester has a large student population and has produced 25 Nobel Prize winners which is really something to show to the world.  Manchester is a strong base and has a good performance in terms of exporting goods to the Chinese market. In 2010, the exports to China from Manchester accounted to 1 billion US dollars and there is still huge potential for growth.”

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, said: “The development of the Chinese Market is incredibly important to Greater Manchester and the UK in general.  There is still a huge amount of work to be done to increase our trade and investment links to China – although the North West and Greater Manchester does relatively well in UK terms – to put us in a similar position to Germany which has been particularly successful over the last few years.

“Recently, we’ve seen the eurozone contract slightly in terms of inward investment, but this has been countered by Greater Manchester receiving strong levels of investment from Asia-Pacific – from both India and China – which have helped to replace some of the European investment the city region has traditionally attracted.

“Longer term, China will soon be the largest economy in the world.  It has a huge developing consumer population and it’s therefore absolutely vital that we look to increase our links with China through a sustainable and long-term strategy, which promotes mutual benefit from bilateral trade between the two nations.”

Click here to see video footage of the recent visit.


Manchester named in the UK’s top ten destinations

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announces the results of its 2012 Travellers’ Choice® Destinations Awards, honouring the top destinations in the world, Europe and the UK as decided by millions of travellers. 

It’s good news for Manchester, which was named the UK’s seventh best destination. London dominated the awards and was named the world’s, Europe’s and the UK’s best destination – with the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games fast approaching, it’s a well-timed triumph for the capital.

Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson, commented: “The UK is a wonderful place for travellers.  With so many beautiful towns, villages, sites, cities and more on offer, it’s a tremendous honour for Manchester to be named amongst the UK’s best destinations.”

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said: “We’re delighted that Manchester has been recognised in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

“The city is known around the world for its sport and musical exports – and these will be on show all the more in 2012 thanks to the opening of the National Football Museum in July, Olympic Football fixtures at Old Trafford and the return of ‘Madchester’ favourites New Order, The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses all playing in the city.

“The international connectivity offered by Manchester Airport and the speed and frequency of rail services from London has made the city more accessible than ever before. In 2011, Greater Manchester welcomed over 1.1m international visitors and we’re hopeful we can top that in 2012.”

European category: London comes out ahead of arch rivals

London’s arch rivals on the tourist trail, Rome and Paris, trailed after the UK capital in second and third places respectively in the European category.

The only other UK city to rank in this list was Edinburgh, which took 13th place.

UK category: Spotlight off the south

Following London as runner-up in the UK category was Edinburgh, with Liverpool claiming third place.

While London may have reigned supreme, the south – well-known for its many famous sites and cities – only had one other destination in the list alongside the capital: Torquay in fourth place.  The north was well-represented with Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool ranking third, seventh and eighth respectively. 

Scotland had two top ten finishers in this year’s list (Edinburgh in second and Glasgow in fifth) while both Wales and Northern Ireland claimed one destination each (Belfast in sixth place and Llandudno in tenth).

The 2012 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations winners







1 London   1 London   1 London
2 NYC   2 Rome   2 Edinburgh
3 Rome   3 Paris   3 Liverpool
4 Paris   4 Istanbul   4 Torquay
5 San Francisco   5 Barcelona   5 Glasgow
6 Marrakech   6 Berlin   6 Belfast
7 Istanbul   7 Florence   7 Manchester
8 Barcelona   8 Prague   8 Blackpool
9 Siem Reap   9 Dublin   9 Birmingham
10 Berlin   10 Amsterdam     10 Llandudno

The Travellers’ Choice Destinations awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers.  Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travellers’ favorites and most highly rated places. 

For the complete 2012 Travellers’ Choice Destinations winners, go to http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Destinations. (please note this link will be live from 00:01 Tuesday 1st May).

Manchester creative sector receives recognition from cutting-edge American arts collective

Manchester’s creative and arts sector will receive a boost this May and June as CHERYL – an artistic collective from Brooklyn, New York – take residency at Islington Mill in Salford.

Comprised of Destiny Pierce, Stina Puotinen, Nick Shiarizzi and Sarah Van Burren, CHERYL are renowned for their video art and installations, dance parties and general artistic performance. They have featured at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, New York’s Museum of Art and Design, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum and more.

CHERYL will utilise the ground floor gallery space of the Mill as they work with local artists, musicians, performance collectives and students of art, media and fashion. During this time they will hold special events open to the public on the Wednesdays of the 9, 16 and 30 May. In addition to these, they will take over the entire Mill to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on Sunday 3 June, and will feature at the ‘Sounds from the Other City’ event taking place on Sunday 6 May.

Their arrival in Greater Manchester means great things for the city, and reflects the fact that Manchester’s creative sector and arts circuit is respected not just locally and nationally, but also globally.

MIDAS will be hosting CHERYL for a day to ensure they get the most out of their visit to the region, which will include helping the artists to network with members of Manchester’s creative sector, as well as learn about the history, culture, architecture and strength of Greater Manchester as a region. MIDAS will be working with Islington Mill going forward to encourage more international collaborations to highlight the talent within Greater Manchester.

Islington Mill is a former cotton spinning mill, over two hundred years of age, which now functions as an inspiring space that houses over fifty studios, gallery space, gig and ‘clubbing’ areas and its own (artist-run) B&B.

For more information on CHERYL, please visit: www.cherylwillruinyourlife.info
For more information on Islington Mill, please visit: www.islingtonmill.com

UK’s First Zero Energy Cost Business Park Launches

The UK’s first Zero Energy Cost Business Park – Armstrong Point – launched its demonstration site in Manchester’s city centre on Friday 20th April. 

The new £2.7million Business Park will be situated on the Hindley Green Industrial Estate in Wigan, providing 65 brand new jobs – as it opens nine industrial business units to rent.  £1.3 million of the funding for Armstrong Point – which is due to open this September – is provided by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). 

In a unique twist, the park will allow all of its tenants to avoid any gas, electricity and water costs, due to its use of cutting edge carbon technologies.

A combination of photovoltaic systems and a wind turbine will provide the site with electricity, whilst filtered rain water will provide water needed in the building. Other costs (gas and electricity) are to be met by the government’s ‘green’ incentive programme. 

Dave Armstrong of Amstrong Properties (NW) Ltd – the organisation behind the venture – launched the project with a speech at Urban Splashes POD development in Manchester.  He was joined by guest speakers The Rt Hon Andrew Stunnell MP, Lord Redesdale and Wigan Rugby League legend William John “Billy” Boston MBE.

Armstrong pointed out the highlights of the development which will be based on a brownfield site (formerly the derelict Britvic building on the Hindley Green Industrial Estate).  It is comprised of 0.47 hectares, and will provide 2,095 m² of business space. This will be through three steel frame industrial buildings, each capable of subdivision into three individual business units which in size range from 125 m² to 300 m².

Explaining further, Armstrong said: “We are using 14 low and zero carbon technologies, some of which have never been used before.  This truly exemplar scheme will raise the bar in terms of sustainability for property development and create an amazing opportunity for occupiers to slash running costs for their businesses.  This development will provide valuable working space to create jobs and assist businesses to meet current and future environmental legislation.

“In addition to helping Wigan businesses we look forward to assisting companies throughout the North West.  This development will help others re-think how property is developed, it also helps future proof our investment against forthcoming environmental legislation and should ensure we have the units let.”  

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, said: “Once complete, Armstrong Point will be a fundamental part of the Manchester city-region’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions, creating new jobs in Wigan and helping to put us on the map as the UK’s low carbon economic area (LCEA) for the built environment.  This is an excellent addition to the region’s growing low carbon sector, which already employs over 35,000 people across 2,000 companies.”

The demonstration site is situated at Urban Splash development ‘The Pod’ on Worseley Street, Castlefield, and will remain open until September when the site in Wigan launches.


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