Commercial property developer Stoford has broken ground on the site of Pets at Home’s new national storage and distribution centre in Staffordshire.

The pet care business has signed a 20-year lease on the purpose-built facility at Stafford North Business Park.

Tesco Pension Fund is forward funding the new development, which is expected to employ more than 750 people when it opens in the summer of 2022. 

Facilities will include two double-storey hub offices of 5,600 sq ft and a recycling store, tote store and a gatehouse detached from the main building. 

Stoford has awarded the building contract to McLaren Construction Group.

Stoford joint managing director Dan Gallagher said: "We have worked closely with Pets at Home and Tesco Pension Fund to develop this exciting new scheme that will sustain local jobs in Staffordshire.

"We will deliver a modern national storage and distribution centre, with a first-class design that has sustainability at its core.

"We are also making a significant investment in the infrastructure at Stafford North Business Park to allow us to develop the facility into one of the region’s leading employment sites."

Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard added: "Today marks a major milestone in the next step on our journey and a significant investment that will help enable our colleagues to better serve our customers right across the country.

"For us, pets always come first and I am really proud that this project not only sees the development of a state-of-the-art national distribution centre that will allow us to create efficiencies throughout our supply chain, but it also brings with it brand new nature walks and safe dog walking areas for colleagues and local residents to enjoy."

The new centre is part of the first phase of development on a 70-acre site at Stafford North Business Park.