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Official opening for County Council's new highways depot

12:00, 05 Apr 2012

Nottinghamshire County Council's new £8.6m highways depot in Bilsthorpe will be officially opened next week (April 11th) - just over a year after building work began.

County Council Chairman Coun Keith Walker will unveil a plaque to commemorate the opening of the Council' biggest and most modern highways depot.

Construction of the new depot by the County Council's partners Interserve and internal contractors Highway Operations started on the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery in January 2011. Work was completed on schedule at the end of the year and the depot is now fully operational.

The new Bilsthorpe base boasts offices, vehicle workshops, training facilities, storage for vehicles and materials and vehicle fuelling and cleaning areas.

It is also home to the County Council's third salt barn, allowing an extra 5,000 tonnes of road salt to be stockpiled under cover and boosting Nottinghamshire's reserves ready for severe winter weather.

The new depot replaces old and out-dated buildings in Newark, Cuckney, Mansfield and Arnold and brings highways employees at those sites together on one site, thereby saving on maintenance, lighting, heating and travel costs.

The new depot will also be more energy-efficient and cheaper to run. Some 266 photovoltaic panels covering 340 square metres of the roof will generate over 42,000 kilowatt hours of electricity during an average year, saving the Council over £3,000 per year in electricity costs.

In addition, through the Government's Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme, the Council can expect to receive over £14,000 in FIT payments from the renewable electricity that the array will generate.

The three occupied buildings on the site are all heated by the site's biomass heating system. This means that all of the energy used to heat the site is from a renewable and carbon neutral source.

"The new Bilsthorpe depot has been completed on time and on budget," said Coun Richard Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways.

"It will save us money in the long run, improve our efficiency and help regenerate the Bilsthorpe area.

"And in a week that the threat of winter weather has returned, it's worth noting that it also means that we are now able to store 16,000 tonnes of salt under cover in Nottinghamshire.

"Overall, we will be able to store 21,500 tonnes, which is 12,000 tonnes more than the absolute minimum recommended by the government and enough for all but the most severe winters."

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