Arco has been confirmed as a finalist in the Commercial Development of the Year category of the prestigious Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2021, with this year's awards ceremony taking place at the Emerald Suite at Headingley Stadium on 17 November 2021.
Over the past 18 months, Arco has completed two major developments in Hull. Investing £30 million in its National Distribution Centre (NDC) extension and £16 million in a new office.
With longstanding ties to Hull since the opening of Arco's first shop in Queen Street in 1893, the family business has relocated back to Hull's Fruit Market area. The new office brings together colleagues from three separate locations across the city to provide a single point of collaboration from where the business can best serve its customers.
Arco's new Blackfriargate home has space for 600 colleagues and is the largest new-build office development for a single user in the Hull area since the late 1960s. Key features include bright open-plan office space with zones for collaborative working, meeting rooms and training suites equipped with state-of-the-art conference technology. The new site is easily accessible on foot from the city centre and via public transport links, with 56 secure cycle spaces. Accessibility played an important role in the building's design, with level access to the main entrance, lifts to all floors and an open plan interior for accessible mobility.
Sustainability was at the forefront of Arco's requirements while designing the new building. The development transformed previously disused land, allowing Arco colleagues to remain close to Hull's centre and able to access all the facilities it has to offer. All construction materials, fixtures, fittings, paint and furniture used are free from toxins, invisible pollutants and harmful chemicals or fibre. All materials were also sustainably and locally sourced, wherever possible. The development has been awarded a 'very good' BREEAM rating for its environmental impact. Arco also uses renewable sources for its power and high-efficiency heating and lighting equipment to significantly reduce the development's carbon footprint. Its completion marks a major milestone in Hull's rejuvenation.
Arco also recently completed an extension development to its NDC, known as NDC2. This extension trebled Arco's storage capacity, providing an additional area of 20,500 square metres and an internal clear height of 19 metres. The NDC2 also features one of the flattest warehouse floors in Europe. To support Arco's sustainability vision, it's lit by natural daylight with daylight harvesting LED lights, activating only when needed.
Arco's NDC2 became operational in February 2020. The increased storage and distribution capacity enabled Arco to respond rapidly to the unprecedented demand for PPE with the business supporting the NHS, frontline responders and critical industries. The demand for quality-assured and ethically-sourced PPE was so strong that Arco achieved its eight-year NDC2 growth roadmap within five months after launch. Arco's logistics team became a 24/7 operation distributing 300 pallets and 8,000 parcels across the UK every day.
David Evison, Managing Director at Arco, said:
"It is a real privilege to have been announced as a finalist for these prestigious awards.
"We have invested £46m in our new collaborative workspace in Blackfriargate and on futureproofing our commitment to customers through the extension of our National Distribution Centre.
"These investments play an important role in the way we support our customers and have been developed with sustainability at the forefront of their design.
"As well as providing a timely boost for the region's economy and offering employment and training opportunities, these investments enable us to continue fulfilling our core purpose: to keep people safe at work."