Distribution and warehousing firm gears up for green expansion with £4.5m funding

A Staffordshire-based distribution and haulage firm is expanding its footprint by 30% after investing in a new sustainable warehouse facility.

Browns Distribution Services, based in Stoke-on-Trent, offers services across all areas of the distribution supply chain – including freight collection services, goods storage, and onwards delivery – but primarily focuses on freight distribution, warehousing and fulfilment.

The business provides warehouse and transport solutions with customers including the Royal Mail, 3t Logistics, JCB and DHL.

It employs 145 people, including 70 drivers, and has a forecast turnover of around £23m for this financial year.

Due to increasing demand for its storage and fulfilment services, including raw industry materials through to finished goods from e-commerce sales, the business secured a £4.5m development funding package from Lloyds Bank to build a 75,000 sq ft high bay warehouse space.

Two-years in the making, the purpose-built distribution centre and new headquarters is designed to facilitate the company’s three-year growth plan, providing more space to operate, and store goods more efficiently. The site includes a contemporary two-storey office space, with specialist IT and ergonomic infrastructure, collaborative meeting areas and bright recreational spaces.

The firm’s commitment to sustainability is also demonstrated through the installation of an 80kW solar PV array on the building’s roof, and the use of multiple biodisc septic tanks to ensure optimal and efficient waste removal from the premises.

The new warehouse has already seen a reduction of 50% in its energy usage thanks to the new measures and a 100% reduction in gas following the removal of all heavy fossil fuels from its infrastructure. There is also a focus on decarbonising the business’ fleet of 70 vehicles, starting with the rollout of 100% electric forklift trucks which operate 24hrs a day.

Browns Distribution now plans to continue growing with ambitious plans to secure £40m turnover in the next three years, bolstered by the investment in the new facility.

David Brown Jnr, managing director of Browns Distribution, said: “This latest investment marks the next big step in the businesses’ growth plan.

“We’ve evolved a lot as a company in the last few years, and the new facility has been meticulously designed with a people-first approach to improve our efficiency and encourage a more collaborative approach to problem solving. We’ve also been able to introduce more energy-efficient ways of working, with sustainable improvements throughout the warehouse build and fleet.

“We’ve been a customer of Lloyds Bank since 1965, and the continued support we’ve received over the decades has helped our continued growth. We always go to Lloyds Bank first, and in the future, we look forward to working on even more exciting opportunities with them.”

Chris Perkins, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Browns Distribution is a long-standing customer of ours, so it’s hugely rewarding to be able to continue supporting its ambitious growth plans.

“At Lloyds Bank, we’re committed to helping businesses such as Browns Distribution to reduce their environmental impact while creating a better workplace where their colleagues can thrive. We’ll continue to stand by businesses in the West Midlands to help them grow and prosper, and we look forward to supporting Browns Distribution along its growth journey.”

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