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£6m distribution hub supports North East’s automotive ambitions

A flagship £6m rail-served steel distribution centre is being built to help automotive sector ambitions in the North East.

Multimodal specialist, AV Dawson, a key player in automotive steel logistics, is investing in the giant storage shed so that steel producers can keep up with expected growth plans in the local automotive industry.

One producer, Tata Steel, provides steel for Sunderland-based car maker Nissan, and has been using three of Dawson’s sheds at its Riverside Park base in Middlesbrough – one on the quayside and two at its Ayrton Railhead – to store its automotive steel coils.

Dawson’s new automotive shed will be its biggest yet at nearly 300m long and 36m wide and will be capable of providing storage for up to 32,000 tonnes of steel coils. It will feature an innovative air handling dehumidification system with both heat and power being provided from renewable sources.

The shed will be built on land once owned by Network Rail and will feature a track running direct into it from nearby Middlesbrough Goods Yard.

After extensive ground remediation works, the piling of the foundations has been completed, and the shed is expected to be ready by September this year.

Neil McShane, railhead manager of AV Dawson, said: "Nissan are doing great things with their new line and the electric car and we’re proud to be part of their supply chain in the North East.

"Our new automotive shed will keep Tata’s steel in pristine condition and will create a flagship storage facility to meet its growth plans in the North East.

"We’re keen to use renewable energy alongside other environmental measures, such as ensuring it has the right levels of insulation, so that no energy is wasted, and to give a degree of independence from the soaring energy costs experienced over recent years."

"We’ll be able to store all of Tata’s material in one place with a direct rail link as well as providing space for expansion, and it frees up capacity in our existing automotive stores for new opportunities.

A daily train of 24 rail wagons from Tata Steel in Port Talbot, South Wales will feed the new facility with local hub distribution using the AV Dawson road haulage fleet including specialist steel coil carrying trailers.

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