THE ground has been broken on the new £6million site of a Toddington-based horticultural business.
argro, currently based in Toddington Lane, this week revealed how far work had progressed on its new distribution base in Poling.
The new, purpose-built base will protect more than 50 staff members already employed by the company as well as opening the door for more jobs in the future.
It has been a long time coming, admitted the retailer’s technical director, Dr Paul Sopp.
“It’s been a very long road and a lot of hard work by a lot of people and it’s nice to be able to see some work on the ground now.
“The business is growing and we now have an opportunity to build a site to take us through the next few decades and allow us to go from strength to strength.
“The hope is that we can protect the jobs that we currently have and as we look to expand over the next few years we hope to offer more jobs to local people,” Dr Sopp said.
The plans were first drawn up in 2006 and were finally approved seven years later, in October 2013.
The new offices are being built by Midas Construction Southern, on land south of the Vinery, near the A27 in Poling. The early phases of construction started at the end of last year.
Teams are creating a 6,400 sq m, two-storey warehouse with offices and a 5,400 sq m dry storage space on the site, as well as carrying out upgrade works to improve access to the A27 from the industrial estate and reroute delivery vehicles away from nearby homes.
The work is now well underway and is expected to be completed by August.
“We’re coming up to our 70th anniversary so it will be nice to finally have the site finished,” added Dr Sopp.
Fargro was established in Worthing in the 1940s before it moved to its site in Toddington, in the 1970s.
“We seem to move every thirty years or so,” joked Dr Sopp.
Paul Strachan, divisional director for Midas Southern, described Fargro as a ‘dynamic company enjoying great success in horticultural industry’ and said it was ‘fantastic news’ that the business could stay close to its Littlehampton roots.
Dr Sopp added that the new distribution centre would be sympathetically landscaped for the surrounding village.