The £10million plans to make Sunderland depots 'fit for the future'
A new salt barn to help keep roads gritted in bitter weather is among £10million plans for make Sunderland council depot’s “fit for the future”.
This week, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet backed the next step in plans to revamp two key sites.
Parsons Depot in Washington will be redeveloped as a new base for council highways teams and environmental services.
The £6.854m scheme includes demolition works to make way for a new building alongside vehicle workshops and a salt barn.
An additional £3.004m will also be invested into ‘low-carbon infrastructure’ at both Parsons Depot and Jack Crawford House, Hendon.
In action, the project aims to cut costs and reduce the council’s carbon footprint with eco-friendly technology.
With support from a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant, this will be used to support the operation and maintenance of the council’s future electric vehicle (EV) fleet.
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Council bosses agreed to start the process of appointing contractors for the project and to confirm match funding for the ERDF grant over three years.
The project cost stands at £9.858m – with £8.356m from the council and a £1.502m ERDF grant.
Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, Coun Amy Wilson, welcomed the scheme at Sunderland Civic Centre.
“The city council needs to invest in fit-for-future depot facilities to ensure frontline services are delivered effectively across the city, mitigating their environmental impact which is aligned with city plan priorities,” she said.
The changes are set to have environmental benefits, including reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality. According to a cabinet report, the plans will “future proof investment in large electric specialist vehicles as technology advances.”
The project also aims to save the council an estimated £460,000 every year through reduced operational and utility costs.
Council bosses plan to award a contract for the works in January next year.
Works are expected to be completed by December, 2021.