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The final step has been achieved to enable the 1.85m sqft, high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus on the 112-acre former Celanese site near Spondon to proceed.

SmartParc has announced SEGRO as its development partner. SEGRO will work with SmartParc to create a new asset class dedicated to ‘state of the art’ food manufacturing and distribution. SmartParc SEGRO Spondon paves the way for the food industry to collaborate to meet the challenges of sustainable production whilst addressing the need for efficient direct routes to consumers.

As development partner, SEGRO will provide a multi-million-pound investment to regenerate the brownfield site.. SmartParc will provide the onsite managed services, supporting the food community to increase production efficiency and drive reduced operational costs through collaborative working. SmartParc’s revolutionary energy sharing infrastructure will utilise wind and solar combined with central services, to deliver the most sustainable food production community in the country.

The announcement of the partnership follows Derby City Council granting planning permission in June and the agreement of grant funding contributions from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council.
D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has allocated £12 million towards the project from the Government’s Getting Building Fund – the largest single allocation from D2N2’s £44 million allocation.

SmartParc was founded to address the challenges facing the food sector. The 1.85m sqft collaborative hub at Spondon represents a pioneering technical breakthrough. It will provide food manufacturing facilities ranging from start-up incubation units through to large-scale manufacturing facilities ranging from 50,000 - 400,000 sqft. The site will also be home to a Food Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence to future-proof the food industry, offering education and career opportunities to secure both the local and global food supply chains.

SmartParc will provide a new sustainable blueprint for the food industry. Climate change has highlighted the need for far-reaching industry change and, in response, SmartParc will re-engineer current food manufacturing and distribution processes. It will create a new, forward-thinking ecosystem of food production, looking towards new technologies such as vertical farming to disconnect weather from our ability to produce sustainable food.

This mission begins with SmartParc SEGRO Spondon as the flagship site. Building on Spondon’s heritage as a site of cutting-edge engineering, SmartParc will create 5,000 direct jobs and enable a new collaborative, flexible work model to accommodate people’s evolving lifestyles with the ambition of reconnecting the local community to food production.

SmartParc SEGRO Spondon will be home to the first low-carbon food manufacturing community. A central distribution hub to consolidate goods in deliveries will streamline the distribution chain, providing a reduction in cost for occupiers whilst improving sustainability by eliminating food miles. From design and material selection to support for eventual occupiers, SmartParc and SEGRO will help to ensure excellent environmental performance and bold efficiency gains at the ground-breaking site.


SmartParc Render

Jackie Wild, SmartParc CEO said: 

“We are delighted to announce SEGRO as our development partner as we work towards our goal of building the first world-leading, sustainable, high-tech food manufacturing and distribution campus at SmartParc SEGRO Spondon.”

“Our partnership with SEGRO and the continued support of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council will enable us to bring jobs to the region and address the increasingly critical challenges facing food manufacturing supply chains.”

“We want to thank everyone involved in realising this vision in record time. From the first walk around site in May 2020 to starting on site in September 2021- it shows what can be achieved when everyone pushes in the same direction with a shared agenda.”

“The creation of this dedicated asset class is pivotal in achieving a more sustainable future for food production and giving a framework for the food industry to build upon. We want to embrace Derby’s engineering heritage to ensure that SmartParc is the home of the next food revolution. We already have a significant level of interest from manufacturers and retailers both from the UK and overseas and we are starting work immediately so we can welcome our first ‘collaborators’ to SmartParc early next year.”

Andrew Pilsworth, Managing Director, National Logistics at SEGRO, added: 

“SmartParc’s bold new concept for food manufacturing and distribution has the potential to be a true game-changer. Over the last 18 months we’ve seen the importance of having robust supply chains closer to home and being able to quickly and efficiently distribute goods. SmartParc enables both of these within the vital food and drink sector and does so while keeping sustainability at its heart. We look forward to working together to make the concept a success.”

“By backing innovative projects like this one, we are levelling up areas across the country by building stronger and more resilient local economies, which can support jobs and prosperity in our communities.”

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council commented:

“We are delighted with the progress so far in the SmartParc scheme”.

“The project is hugely welcome in Derby, fitting perfectly into our aims to boost our economy and job market and to further diversify the city.”

“The thousands of new jobs that will be created is a fantastic prospect and we look forward to seeing the partnership between SmartParc and SEGRO develop to achieve this.”

Chris Radlett, Vice President of Manufacturing for Celanese also said: 

“Celanese is pleased to have worked closely with local and regional authorities and the developers, to provide our site to help create jobs and enable more sustainable food production. This is a fitting next step for the site and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbours.”

With further comment from D2N2 LEP Chair, Elizabeth Fagan CBE: 

“Food and drink manufacturing is a key investment priority for our region. The LEP’s £12 million investment will support the creation of a world-leading sustainable food-manufacturing facility that will deliver pioneering innovation, create thousands of jobs and transform the local economy.”




Notes to Editors:


Please note that SEGRO was advised on the transaction by the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm CBRE. SmartParc was advised by Freeths, the full-service law firm with offices across the UK.

About SmartParc SEGRO Spondon

SmartParc SEGRO Spondon is part of a £300 million total investment to put Derby City and the UK at the heart of the future of sustainable food manufacturing globally. The planned 112-acre SmartParc campus will combine world-class food production facilities with shared utilities, amenities and services to provide a highly sustainable, low-cost production base for food manufacturers. It will provide 5,000 new jobs in the area over the coming years.

About SmartParc

SmartParc is a revolution in food production and creates a new asset class in the property market, allowing wider investment opportunities to support the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. Growing and producing food is critical to us all – we must eat to survive. As Covid 19 and Brexit have demonstrated, as an island nation our food supply chain is fragile, currently depending on 52% of our supply from other countries.

Against the backdrop of Cop26 and the UN report on Climate change forecasting relative Armageddon unless we make significant changes to how we live, SmartParc provides an answer to responsibly tackle the needs of the food industry, giving our nation food security, whilst drastically reducing the impact of growing and making food on our planet.

The campus-style Parcs will provide food manufacturers and suppliers with new communities to foster innovation and collaboration. Our Parcs will streamline food production and distribution with centrally shared facilities and services to safeguard our food security and ensure readiness for future challenges.

SmartParc will reduce the investment risk for any food business wishing to expand or switch to a lower cost production base and reach new customers. It will create an environment which makes healthy yet convenient food accessible.

It is our ambition to build 7 SmartParcs within the UK and 100 SmartParcs around the world, with particular focus on delivering food to the developing world most impacted by climate change. By providing these communities with manufacturing and growing facilities which harness solar and wind and reclaim and recycle water and energy we can provide an engineering solution to delivering food security to the world.

Finding a balance between sustaining ourselves and our planet requires a new approach.

That approach is SmartParc.

For more information:


SEGRO is a UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris, and is a leading owner, manager and developer of modern warehouses and industrial property. It owns or manages 8.8 million square metres of space (95 million square feet) valued at £17.1 billion serving customers from a wide range of industry sectors. Its properties are located in and around major cities and at key transportation hubs in the UK and in seven other European countries.

For over 100 years SEGRO has been creating the space that enables extraordinary things to happen. From modern big box warehouses, used primarily for regional, national and international distribution hubs, to urban warehousing located close to major population centres and business districts, it provides high-quality assets that allow its customers to thrive.

A commitment to be a force for societal and environmental good is integral to SEGRO’s purpose and strategy. Its Responsible SEGRO framework focuses on three long-term priorities where the company believes it can make the greatest impact: Championing Low-Carbon Growth, Investing in Local Communities and Environments and Nurturing Talent.

See for further information.

About D2N2

D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Local Enterprise Partnerships are private sector-led, locally-owned partnerships between business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations. There are 38 LEPs in England.

They play a central role in deciding local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and create local jobs.

D2N2, established in 2010, is one of the largest LEPs in England, covering an area with a population of more than two million people and with an economic output of over £45 billion GVA (Gross Value Added). Its Chief Executive Officer is Sajeeda Rose and its Chair is Elizabeth Fagan CBE.

D2N2’s target is to support the creation of 55,000 new jobs in D2N2 by 2023. Most of these jobs will be in the private sector.

Its vision is of a more prosperous, better connected, and increasingly resilient and competitive economy.

Its purpose is to support and encourage economic growth in the D2N2 region.

Please take care to tag D2N2 in digital stories (Twitter and LinkedIn: @d2n2lep) and to link to our website for more information:

About the Getting Building Fund

On 4 August 2020, the government confirmed the list of over 300 successful projects which will receive a share of £900 million from the Getting Building Fund.

The full list of projects is available on GOV.UK.

The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country. Projects funded include:

  • regeneration of town and city centres
  • green infrastructure and clean energy
  • transport and digital connectivity improvements
  • unlocking of housing and business sites
  • support for SMEs and learners

The successful projects (over 300) are expected to deliver up to 85,000 jobs, over 1,500,000 sqm of commercial floor space, unlocking 45,000 homes, almost 1,000,000 sqm of public realm or green space improved or created, over 50,000 new learners assisted, and 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions saved.

All projects have been selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary.

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