Published: 15:00, 17 July 2014
| Updated: 15:11, 17 July 2014
Up to 100 new jobs will be created following a major deal signed between German car giant Volkswagen and the owners of Sheerness docks.
A new partnership between Peel Ports and Volkswagen Group UK Ltd will see automobile imports into the site increase by 50,000 vehicles a year.
The companies have agreed a multi-million pound investment to build and oversee a new eight-acre pre-delivery inspection centre on Sheppey.
This will include facilities to ensure vehicles are all in order before they are moved on and to modify them to meet any customer requirements.
The move will provide Volkswagen with a range of port and dock worker services and improvements will be made to support the increased volume of cars.
The centre, which is expected to open in the next couple of years, will be operated by automotive logistics company GBA Group.
The 10-year deal will see the existing 80-acre import centre at Sheerness extended, a new road entrance built and an access created to adjacent vehicle compounds.
Port director Miles Hearn said: “This is great news for the Port of Sheerness.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the Volkswagen Group and this significant contract is a huge endorsement of the customer-focused, proactive and positive approach we have always worked hard to deliver.”
The firm’s strategy director, Hamish Scott, said the UK’s automotive industry is thriving and the move could shorten supply lines thereby reducing carbon emissions and saving money.
Matthew Bowden, head of group vehicle planning and logistics for Volkswagen Group UK,said Sheerness’s links to the road network – the A249 joining the M2 and M20 – made it an “optimal” site for the partnership.
Brands which could be coming through the centre include Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Škoda which are managed by Volkswagen Group UK.
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