As part of its expansion plan, Jaguar Land Rover plans to take over the former headquarters of collapsed fashion brand Ethel Austin.
JLR is looking for a 400,000-squre-foot distribution centre located in Merseyside, to increase production of the well-known Range Rover Evoque at its Halewood plant. The company has already spotted two distribution centres, the 426,000-sq-ft former Ethel Austin facility in Knowsley and a 405,000-sq-ft site called the Phoenix close to Vauxhall’s car plant in Ellesmere Port. One of these centers will be enough for the company to store components and make room at its Halewood plant and increase production.
But the Ethel Austin site is owned by a private investor who is being advised by property agent CBRE and the Phoenix warehouse is owned by property company High Cross. In May 2010 The Ethel Austin HQ and huge warehouse were shut after Elaine McPherson, the former owner, put the business into administration for a second time, with debts of £55m and the loss of 2,300 jobs.
“JLR has looked at this building and another facility over the water, but no decision has been made. They tell us it might be a matter of weeks. “We believe they could shift the parts out of Halewood to make room for what they are doing there. It is a cracking facility – a good spec and great height,” a spokesman for the agents told the ECHO.