B&Q will open a new regional distribution centre in Swindon next year, as part of changes to its distribution strategy.

The 796,649 sq ft centre, which will be developed by logistics firm Gazeley, will start operating in July 2011 and will be fully operational by January 2012. It will distribute high volume products, such as large fast selling items like garden furniture and pallets of white paint.

The location of the new centre will enable faster deliveries to B&Q stores and greater control over stock, thereby improving customer service, according to the retailer. It will also reduce CO2 emissions, transport miles and costs.

Employees based in existing centres in Preston Brook, Coventry, Chepstow, Swindon and Middleton, all run by third party supplier partners, are being briefed today on the proposal to withdraw B&Q activity from these sites. 1031 employees will be affected. However, as a result of the new distribution centre 550 jobs will be created at the new Swindon centre and approximately 250 at B&Q’s Worksop distribution centre.

A consolidation centre in the North West is still planned, the location of which is to be confirmed and details of this will be announced in due course.