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More than 100 new jobs on the way at Markham Vale

Published: 8 December 2021

Sustainable packaging firm Smurfit Kappa and home furnishings company Gallery Direct are the latest businesses to get keys to new premises at ours and HBD’s flagship regeneration site, Markham Vale. 


Founded in 1934, international paper-based packaging specialists Smurfit Kappa is set to create up to 20 new jobs with their expansion to another unit on the site where they have been based for 6 years.

The eco-friendly company sources almost all their raw materials from their own paper mills and their products are 100% renewable and produced sustainably helping customers reduce their environmental footprint.

The firm’s new base will be used for warehouse and distribution across the UK.

Mark Hawkins, General Manager at Smurfit Kappa said:

“We moved into a new state of the art purpose-built site back in 2015 as one of the first occupants on the Markham Vale development.,/p>

“Since then the site has grown to a turnover of over £40 million and recruited over 65 people locally, due to the growth of the site and Smurfit Kappa’s own expansion in the UK we now require a purpose built distribution centre which the new building gives us, being perfectly located next to junction 29A of the M1.

“This new venture will create further jobs for the area and give people a great career opportunity working within Smurfit Kappa.”

Craig Handley, Customer Service and Logistics Director at Smurfit Kappa said:

“With over 12,500 pallet spaces, the new Markham Vale North distribution facility will complement our existing production units in both Markham Vale and Chesterfield offering both excellent just in time customer deliveries.

“The unit is positioned ideally near the motorway access allowing the distribution of goods for our customers in the far north and south. We are undertaking an employment drive from within the local community for warehouse FLT drivers who will be using state of the art new VNA trucks.”

Established in 1973, family-run business, Gallery Direct is a leading British based designer, manufacturer and worldwide distributor of furniture, home decor and accessories.

The company’s new northern base is set to create up to 90 new jobs and will be used for packing, warehousing, and a distribution hub with space to expand further for a new state-of-the-art showroom.

Peter Delaney, managing director at The Gallery Direct Group said:

"We are absolutely delighted to have secured this prestigious facility in an amazing northern location. The fact is that this new property, combined with our southern warehouse and head office, improves further our distribution and operational capacity.

“We will be able to serve 96% of our clients’ requirements with one day delivery times, utilising our own home distribution fleet.”

Our Cabinet Member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, Councillor Tony King, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Gallery Direct to Markham Vale and see the expansion of Smurfit Kappa.

“Our central location makes Markham Vale an ideal distribution base for companies looking to cut their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint as well as meet needs of their clients more quickly.

“Smurfit Kappa’s focus on sustainability and innovation aligns with our own ambitions for attracting cleaner, greener growth.

“And we’re pleased that we’ve been able to come up with the goods for Gallery Direct which will soon be serving customers in the north of the country from Derbyshire instead of down south.

“The fact that between them they bring 110 new jobs is excellent news for the local economy too.”

Richard Hinds, Development Surveyor at Henry Boot Developments said:

"The rapid take-up of the Orion units is testament to the quality of the buildings developed and Markham Vale’s well-established reputation as premium business location.

“As a longstanding development partner of Derbyshire County Council, HBD are delighted to have delivered the units and we look forward to developing future ‘best in class’ accommodation for businesses and employees to thrive at Markham Vale.”

Both companies will be based in units owned by private sector property developers, Aver Property Partnership Limited, a joint venture between Ergo and NFU Mutual.

Leigh Burnett, asset manager, Ergo Real Estate said:

“Smurfit Kappa joins National Lighting who took occupation of Orion One in August and it is fantastic to have 2 such high calibre tenants taking these units. The Orion development is now fully let within 6 months of practical completion and is testament to the quality specification of the buildings and strategic location.”