Aldi’s new £59.5m regional distribution centre - which officially opens today - has already created 422 new jobs creating a wide range of career opportunities.
The news was warmly welcomed by Economy Secretary Ken Skates when he launched the company’s new 40,000 square metre distribution centre and regional offices on the Capital Business Park in Wentloog.
This major development, which will serve as a hub for Aldi’s growing portfolio of stores across South Wales and the South West of England, was supported with £4.5m business finance from the Welsh Government.
Speaking at the opening Ken Skates said the Welsh Government is continuing to support Aldi’s expansion plans across South Wales targeting Cardiff, Swansea and west Wales which will create a significant number of additional jobs and career opportunities over the next four years.
Ken Skates described the retail sector as one of the most important sectors for Wales, both in numbers of businesses and the number of people working in the sector and the range of job opportunities they provided.
“Retail is one of those sectors where both youth and experience are equally valued and each can find its place in either sustaining or driving the business forward.
“Supermarkets, along with their various operational support structures, provide different opportunities – from that first Saturday job for young people to fully fledged careers for those seeking supervisory and management roles.
“For many young people it is almost a rite of passage into the world of work and in many cases entire families can be employed by the same business.
“I also know that Aldi offers career paths for graduates and given its wider global reach, the opportunity to gain vital international experience of working in some of the world’s largest market places which is very welcome.”
He said the opening of the centre was a mark of confidence in the Welsh economy that has already created hundreds of jobs as well as opportunities for Welsh food producers.
Dan Oakenfull, Managing Director of the Cardiff Regional Distribution Centre, said:
“South Wales and the South West of England continue to be areas of significant growth for us, and the new distribution centre will help support our immediate and future expansion across the regions.
“The centre has created over 420 jobs for people living in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.”
The Welsh Government has run a number of Meet the Buyer events with Aldi and will continue to discuss further opportunities for Welsh suppliers. Last month Aldi announced it has introduced five new Welsh lamb products to its stores in North Wales. It follows a similar initiative in South Wales last year and means that all of Aldi’s 38 stores in Wales will now stock an extensive range of fresh Welsh lamb products all year round.
Welsh Government support ensured the new centre was based in Wales as alternative sites in England were under consideration.
Funding was towards the abnormal land development costs of more than £5m to get the site ready for construction. Unforeseen ground conditions and hydrological and ecological restraint meant the construction of the new centre would not have been viable without funding support.