The Co-operative Group has opened a 480,000 sq ft distribution centre at Castlewood, north Derbyshire, which will create more than 300 new jobs and employ 1,060 staff, following a £22 million investment.
The launch concludes the grocer’s project to modernise its distribution network in line with growth of its food business.
The multi-temperature depot is now ramping up and will be fully operational by October 2013.
It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to service 528 Co-operative food stores in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, through more than 3,600 deliveries per week.
It will have a fleet of 273 vehicles, which will deliver more than one million cases per week.
Steve Murrells, chief executive, The Co-operative Food, said: “The opening of Castlewood marks a major milestone for The Co-operative and the completion of a radical revamp of our entire logistics network.
“We’ve invested £22 million into Castlewood to create an efficient facility, which will not only create 300 new jobs and boost the local economy, but it also represents The Co-operative Food’s ambition for the future.
“This investment in Castlewood is the final piece in the jigsaw for our logistics operation following a period of phenomenal change. The massive investment in systems, facilities and people has resulted in a better working environment, increased efficiencies and productivity across our entire logistics operation, servicing more than 2,800 stores across the UK.
“The Co-operative now has one national distribution centre in Coventry and nine new multi-temperature state-of-the-art regional distribution centres. Together they will ensure that we are better equipped than ever before to support our food stores, and ensure that we maintain the high level of produce availability and service that Co-operative customers expect.”
The depot occupies a 30 acre site and the build took more than 300,000 man hours to complete.
It has an “excellent” BREEAM rating, with rainwater harvesting, and movement detection lighting.