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Manchester’s Russells Construction has begun construction of a £10million, 61,000 sq ft cold storage facility for Heywood-based national logistics provider, Yearsley Logistics. The project is the first part of a £65million, 385,000 sq ft development of a 20-acre site, known as “SuperHub South”.

The depot at the Great Haddon Employment Zone near Peterborough will become the UK’s largest single site temperature controlled facility and will create more than 300 new jobs. The first phase is starting to take shape and is set for completion in September 2018, when the temperature will be pulled down to minus 25 degrees and the depot will immediately become operational. Subsequent phases will follow over the next few years.

The project will also mark main contractor Russells Construction’s largest single industrial project to date, and bring its total within this sector to almost 1million square foot delivered for clients. In addition to Yearsley Group, Russells has provided temperature controlled facilities for NFT distribution, Manchester Wholesale Flowers and Manchester fish markets.

Andrew Russell, director for Russells Construction, said: “We have more than a decade’s experience in the delivery of temperature controlled facilities, with more than 825,000 sq ft commissioned for Yearsley Logistics and another 100,000 sq ft for other clients. In that time we’ve developed a fast and efficient methodology which, combined with a trusted supply chain and excellent relationship with our client, allows us to provide contracted programme schedules, enabling them to have their buildings operational for customers much sooner than expected.

“Together with our consultants, we also explore new innovations which can benefit our clients’ business. In this instance we are introducing a new refrigeration system which is faster to install, more environmentally friendly and operationally cost-effective than previously.”

Jonathan Baker, chief executive of Yearsley Group, added: “SuperHub South will be the biggest facility of this type in the UK and represents one of the largest investments ever seen in this sector. We therefore require the very best team to help us deliver this vision, and that starts with Russells Construction which is undoubtedly the UK’s leading cold store contractor.

“Their comprehensive delivery programme, from land acquisition to temperature pull down, is the most compelling factor in our continued partnership. They bring in-depth technical knowhow, innovation, professionalism and speed to the projects, all of which ultimately supports our ability to service our customers efficiently and effectively.”

Yearsley SuperHub South – The Build
The investment will create the latest in a series of superhubs across the UK, part of Yearsley Logistics’ strategic plan to minimise food miles and increase operational efficiency on behalf of its customers; food manufacturers, retailers and catering providers nationally.

SuperHub South will serve the South of England and the major shipping ports with an eventual 150,000 pallet capacity.

Tim Moran, managing director of Yearsley Logistics, said: “This ambitious project is all part of our ongoing strategy to achieve faster, leaner and more efficient supply chains through the creation of a national network of SuperHubs, and demonstrates our long term commitment to the UK frozen food sector at a time when others are withdrawing from national locations.

“This is a scheme to meet our needs now and long into the future, as we continue to bring on new customers. Overall, the SuperHub strategy allows us to improve operational efficiency and optimise costs, both of which are welcomed by our customers. This project, designed to BREEAM Very Good, also helps us to achieve the ever higher environmental standards that we set ourselves, to reduce food miles and minimise emissions.

“Thanks to the expertise of the Russells team, once again, we have a programme to deliver a state-of-the-art facility which will be helping us to provide that improved service to our customers by the end of the summer.”

The planning, design and build has been undertaken by Russells’ specialist logistics development team, and will be their ninth project delivered for Yearsley Logistics over the last 12 years including SuperHub North at the firm’s Heywood headquarters. The team incorporates AEW architects, engineers Healey Consulting, Star Technical Solutions refrigeration consultants, cladding specialists ISD Solutions and Schaeffer Racking.

Jonathan Rhodes heads the specialist team for Russells, having worked on all nine of the Yearsley projects to date. He said: “The building fabric was carefully selected to allow the envelope to be fully sealed to ensure a consistent internal temperature of minus 30 degrees and prevent moisture entering the cold store chamber. This not only prevents the creation of ice build-up but also reduces the operational cooling costs. We’ve also introduced a new refrigeration system which also acts to prevent ice build-up and cut ongoing costs, which is built off site, thereby also reducing installation time. With this one innovation, we are saving the client time and money in the short and long term.”