A bus operator has launched an £8.5m super depot – bringing its investment in the region to £30m over the last two years.
Go North East, which employs around 2,100 staff and operates a fleet of around 700 buses, has launched the new depot at Gateshead Riverside.
The 3,500 sq m building will accommodate 160 buses and more than 500 drivers and engineering staff. The facility replaces depots at Sunderland Road in Gateshead and Winlaton.
All staff will now transfer to the new building, which includes a driver training school and occupational health department. The depot, developed by UKLEP and built by Surgo, breathes new life into 5.75 acres of derelict brownfield land on Handy Drive, formerly Dunston Power Station.
It took 50 weeks to construct including 20 weeks for engineering work, which included underground work to make safe several large, deep coal dumps from the former power station.
Kevin Carr, Go North East managing director, said: “We are incredibly proud to have celebrated our 100th year in 2013 and this investment marks our dedication to serving the people of the North East with modern, efficient vehicles.”