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Co operative state of the art 15 GBP million food distribution centre officially opens

Day of the depot Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, officially opens The Co-operative’s state-of-the-art £15 million food distribution centre at Birtley. Mr Marks is pictured cutting the ribbon, accompanied by Group colleagues, Trevor Ashworth, Director, Supply Chain (left), Tim Hurrell, Managing Director, Food Retail (second right) and Colin Smith, Distribution Manager.

Mr Marks said: "The opening of this multi-million pound state-of-the-art depot marks another high point for The Co-operative Group in 2009. The depot is vital in ensuring our food stores throughout the region continue to give Co-operative customers the high level of product availability and service they expect, and I am delighted to declare the depot officially open."

The Drum Road depot employs more than 550 people, including drivers, warehouse operators and vehicle maintenance staff, as well as staff working in food retail administration and other parts of The Co-operative business. The 280,000 square foot facility operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a fleet of over 100 large goods vehicles, and processes product orders at the rate of 500,000 cases per week for distribution to 260 Co-operative food stores across the north.

The new building incorporates a number of energy-efficient features, including the harvesting of rainwater to be used for refrigeration, vehicle washing and for flushing toilets.

Office lights are movement triggered and have a daylight-dimming feature, which lowers their brightness depending on the level of light during the day.

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