THE BOSS of a thriving York business says it needs to expand its warehousing and create 100 jobs, to keep its headquarters in the city and prevent part of the business relocating to the south of England.

Jason Paver, the managing director of Pavers Shoes, makes the plea in a planning application to City of York Council, concerning its site at Northminster Business Park in Upper Poppleton.

The company seeks to extend its existing warehousing by 11,275m2 on a 25,196m2 site currently used for grazing in an industrial area well away from housing.

The application to City of York Council says the new £6million building, if approved, would extend an existing building.

Northminster Business Park was developed in the mid-1990s, with Pavers operating there since 2001, growing rapidly since, spending £10m on the site since 2018 alone.

The family company, founded by Catherine Paver in York in 1971, has grown from selling at village halls to become a global retailer with over 170 shops, as well as a booming online presence. It now employs 1700 nationwide, including 270 at its Northminster headquarters.

Company turnover has doubled from £110m in 2018, Managing director Jason Paver said, and is expected to reach £350m by 2028. Online sales were fuelling this, growing from a tenth of sales in 2018, to more than a third today and an expected more than half by 2028.

York Press: Where the extension is planned at Northminster

However, such growth meant the headquarters has reached ‘maximum operational capacity’ which is ‘inefficient.’ If Pavers cannot expand at Northminster, it would ‘reluctantly’ have to look at a south of England depot, which would have “very damaging implications” due to the extra cost of this.

“The proposed development is therefore vital to the continued success of our Company. It will provide essential additional accommodation that will allow us to meet our immediate and future operational requirements; consolidate all facilities on one site; retain and increase staff levels; and ensure the Company can remain based solely at our headquarters to deliver further significant economic benefits to York,” Mr Paver argued.

Shops, he continued, can take four-fifths of a range, whilst online sales require all stock to be held centrally. At present, Northminster holds a million pairs of shoes, with Pavers also spending a further £250,000 a year storing shoes in Elvington, Full Sutton and Nether Poppleton at third-party sites.

“This is clearly a highly inefficient and uneconomical method of operating (in a very competitive market),” he said.

And given the company’s growth, Mr Paver expected its storage needs to double within 5 years.

The extension would directly create up to 100 jobs on the site, comprising 60 office staff and 40 warehouse operatives, as well as retain jobs and talent in York.

He added: “If we are successful in expanding our York distribution facility, we will also look to expand the existing office facility to the east of the building which will further cement the company’s commitment to the City of York and provide further local job opportunities.”