Trade kitchens supplier Howdens is planning to build a new 2.2 million sqft national distribution centre as it looks to build on growth that saw sales rocket past £1bn in 2014.

The Yorkshire headquartered supplier is proposing to create the mammoth warehousing operation at Northampton, near Junction 15 of the M1 and just a few miles from its current large operation in the town.

Howdens — popular with small builders and kitchen installers — already employs 650 people across three Northampton sites, and views the town’s central location as key to its expansion plans.

It would take staffing levels to around 1,000 in the area if the £250m investment is green-lighted by planners. Howdens says 2014 sales grew 14 per cent to £1.07bn as it opened 30 depots to take its estate to 589 sites. When it posts its prelims in February, profits will be ahead of analysts’ expectations of £179m, Howdens added.