Leonardo to create £30m sustainable helicopters logistics hub in the South West

Aerospace engineering company Leonardo, which employs over 3,000 people at its Yeovil site, has celebrated breaking ground on a new building site, which is set to become the home of a major new helicopter logistics hub for the South West.

Leonardo has signed a ten-year contract with its logistics partner, Kuehne+Nagel, as part of a collaborative project with Graftongate, to deliver a new £30 million single-site logistics facility at the Leonardo helicopter site in Yeovil.

Plans are in place for the facility to become operational in 2024, to support the growing global fleet of Leonardo helicopters, from the warehousing of components right through to production tooling in a single facility.

“The main aim of the Single-Site Logistics facility at Leonardo’s base in Somerset is to consolidate and increase efficiencies of our Yeovil-based warehousing needs. This state-of-the-art facility will streamline the site’s operational capability and customer service by having all logistical support in one place. It highlights further Leonardo’s long-term commitment to its Yeovil site through the strategic development of this high-tech logistics hub. It also demonstrates the importance of key industry partnerships through our crucial collaboration with Kuehne+Nagel,” said Nick Whitney, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK).

With sustainability at the heart of its construction, the facility will span an area of nearly 20,000m², the equivalent of 2.7 football pitches. The project will see the consolidation of eight existing warehouses into one all-encompassing logistics hub.

Jane Cumisky, Head of Sustainability at Leonardo UK, said: “Fundamental to the construction of this new single-site logistics hub is a focus on supporting ergonomic work by streamlining processes to maximise efficiency and reduce the expenditure of energy. By housing all of the logistics under one roof it means we will increase efficiencies, complete tasks quicker and achieve a reduction in operating costs.

“We are proud to be the UK’s only onshore helicopter manufacturer and this development further illustrates our commitment to British engineering and manufacturing. We’re excited about building sustainability into the bricks and mortar of this new hub.”

The new facility will be equipped with rainwater harvesting tanks for brown water services, full LED lighting throughout, a heat recovery system in the main warehouse, and a modern office temperature control system. In addition, there will be a bank of electrical vehicle charging points. It will be operated under a new ten-year commercial contract with Kuehne+Nagel, which will include an investment in plant and equipment installation and warehousing transition activity by the global transport and logistics company.