John Lewis is to close its Stevenage Distribution Centre in 2010 to open a new warehouse near Milton Keynes, and will create 3,000 jobs at the group over the next three years.

The department store group will open its new£45m 650,000 sq ft automated DC at Magna Park near Milton Keynes in May 2009, creating more than 300 jobs. All Stevenage staff are being offered jobs at the new site, which is 30 miles away.

John Lewis distribution director Dino Rocos, said: “We are constantly striving to improve the service that we offer to our customers. For the supply chain this means improving availability. Magna Park gives us the space we need and allows us to continue to build on the improvements we have made in providing better service to our shops and customers at a lower cost.

“We very much hope that Stevenage partners, who have played a huge role in driving forward service levels to our shops and have all been very supportive since the announcement of Magna Park in 2006, are able to take up the opportunity to transfer to the new DC.”

The new DC will also include a range of eco-friendly enhancements, such as a rainwater harvesting system and a sustainable urban drainage system which includes a lagoon to manage surface rain water collection, and also providing a natural habitat for wildlife.

John Lewis is also set to open a new store in Cardiff which will bring more than 700 new jobs.