After two-and-a-half years of development, Go North East opened its new £3.5million Consett depot in Co. Durham last Friday.
In an official opening of the multi-million-pound facility, Go-Ahead Group chief executive David Brown was joined by Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council and Go North East managing director Martijn Gilbert. Also in attendance were members of the Go North East team, its stakeholders, suppliers and partners.
David Brown says: “This is further demonstration of our long-term commitment to north-east England, where we are the third largest private employer. Bus services are vital for providing our communities with affordable and reliable access to employment, education and leisure. With 60% of all public transport journeys taking place on the bus, we are pleased to play our part in the economic growth in Consett and the north-east.”
Cllr Henig adds: “It’s great to see Go North East demonstrating its confidence in our county and our growing economy by making such a significant investment here. The opening of this new depot is a sign of optimism for the future of services in our area.”
Located on Hownsgill Industrial Estate, the purpose-built 8,800sqm building has been constructed on a brownfield site, formerly part of the old Consett steelworks.
It replaces the company’s Stanley depot, which it operated from for nearly 100 years and is home to 180 staff and 63 vehicles. The building was designed by Go-Ahead Group’s property team in conjunction with Gateshead-based architects’ practice Shadbolt Group. It includes a lean engineering facility to streamline processes and make vehicle maintenance more efficient, a full-recycling vehicle wash and spill-free refuelling system.
Other features include electric vehicle charging stations, and vehicle lifts instead of pitsfor engineers, which creates a safer way of working on engines under vehicles.
As part of the development of the Hownsgill site, Go North East has shown its long-term commitment to Consett through its development of its Medomsley Road office for its operations team. Refurbishment here – which cost £100,000 – included new closed-circuit television and alarm systems, a new roof and updating of canteen facilities for drivers.