After two-and-a-half-years of development, the region’s largest bus operator, Go North East, opened the doors to its brand new £3.5m state-of-the-art depot.
In an official opening of the Consett 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.
Brown said: “This new depot is further demonstration of our long-term commitment to the North East, 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 added: “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.
“Public transport is vital to our towns, villages and communities and it is important that we work with our partners to ensure it is reliable and accessible.
“The opening of this new depot is a sign of optimism for the future of services in our area.”
Located on Hownsgill Industrial Estate in Consett, the purpose-built 8,800m² building has been constructed on a brownfield site, formally part of the old Consett Steelworks.
The high-tech operation replaces the company’s Stanley depot, which it operated from for nearly 100 years. The new depot is home to 180 Go North East team members and 63 vehicles.
The building was designed by Go-Ahead Group’s property team in conjunction with Gateshead-based architects, 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 industry-leading features at the new depot include electric vehicle charging stations and vehicle lifts instead of pits on site for engineers, which creates a safer way of working on engines under vehicles.