Closure of Wiggle distribution hub in Portsmouth would be ‘huge loss’

ON THE MOVE Wiggle's base in North Harbour
ON THE MOVE Wiggle's base in North Harbour
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CITY council leader Donna Jones says it would be a ‘huge loss’ if one of Portsmouth’s most successful companies moved part of its operation to the midlands.

Cllr Jones, who is also a director at the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, said discussions will be held following The News’ story about online bike retailer Wiggle looking at relocating its distribution away from the city.

As reported, the company, which distributes from its North Harbour centre, needs to find a new home of around 300,000sq ft to keep up with its continuing growth.

Wiggle says it has not been able to find any space large enough for its operation.

Cllr Jones said: ‘Wiggle is a truly Portsmouth home-grown business. It would be a huge loss to our city if they relocated the operation elsewhere in the UK.

‘We have great export links being home to a port to offer to business with an international market.

‘Councillor Luke Stubbs and I instantly made calls to ascertain the situation when we found out.

‘There are very few sites as large as they need in the area.

‘However there are two sites I would like to discuss with them in Havant.

‘As a director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, I have already made contact with the chief executive officer of the LEP to ensure everyone is working together on this. A meeting is being organised within the next two weeks.’

The company says it may have to make redundancies if a new warehouse cannot be found in the area.

Richard Boon, human resources director for Wiggle, told The News: ‘Wiggle Ltd is considering relocating its warehouse operations.

‘The exceptional growth of Wiggle has resulted in the need for more warehouse space than the current 95,000sq ft.

‘It is unlikely that any move will begin to be implemented before summer 2015.’

He also said the rest of the business will continue to grow in Portsmouth.

The retailer originates from Butler Cycles, which had been trading since the 1920s.

The shop was in Highland Road in Southsea.