A BRAND new distribution centre at South Normanton, which has created hundreds of new jobs, was officially opened on Monday.
The Co-op distribution centre, which is at the Castlewood Business Park, will see the creation of 300 new roles and will employ 1,060 people.
To celebrate the centre’s opening, Steve Murrells, who is chief executive of the Co-operative Food, and Paul Wardle, who is distribution general manager at Castlewood, a plaque was unveiled. They were joined by chief operating officer Sean Toal and supply chain director Mark Hale.
Special guests included leader of Bolsover District Council, Eion Watts, Coun Alan Tomlinson and chief executive of the council Wes Lumley and they helped to bury a time capsule to commemorate the launch.
Mr Murrells said: “The opening of Castlewood marks a major milestone for the Co-operative and the completion of a radical revamp of our logistics network.
“We’ve invested £22million 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.”
Mr Murrells added: “This investment in Castlewood is the final piece in the jigsaw for our logistics operation.
“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.”
Castlewood features several energy efficient initiatives, including rainwater harvesting to reduce water demand on site and movement detection lighting, which has helped secure an “excellent” rating from BREEAM, the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.
It is the conclusion of a project which started in 2004 to transform and modernise the Co-op’s distribution network.