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Russell WBHO completes Heywood logistics superhub

Russell WBHO has completed the final phase of works for Lineage Logistics at its UK headquarters in Heywood, Greater Manchester.

The main contractor has just handed over a new 70,000 sq ft temperature-controlled cold store with the capacity to hold 22,500 pallets, bringing the facility total to 78,000 pallets.

This final 12-month build was the completion of a three-phase extension to the global operator’s Heywood Superhub which Russell WBHO began in 2011. The first two phases completed in 2013 and comprised 100,000 sq ft of space and 28,000 pallets.

Lineage’s 20-acre site off Hareshill Road now boasts a total 425,000 sq ft of space providing consolidated storage for the UK’s major food manufacturing, food service and food retail brands.

The project saw the introduction of the new style single-skin cold store, now preferred over the traditional ‘box-in-box’ construction where the internal refrigerated chamber sits separately within the outer building. The use of single skin maximises internal area and thereby pallet space capacity.

Temperature controlled storage unit

The Russell WBHO team successfully linked the new building to the existing older design, with no compromise to the integrity of the minus 30-degree temperature during the construction programme or ongoing operation.

Strict carbon reduction targets have also been met, with state-of-the art materials and mechanical systems installed. The new facility will provide Lineage with a 75% operational energy cost saving when compared to the European energy consumption average, thanks to the installation of the award-winning Azanefreezer 2.0 system from Star Refrigeration.

Tim Moran, regional vice president for Lineage, said the new facility will provide much-needed new capacity. He said: “Recent months have seen the importance of the temperature-controlled sector in the economy highlighted and, as the country re-opens, we have seen demand rise to higher than pre-covid levels.

“Lineage is continuing to meet customer demands with an ongoing expansion programme, both nationally and across Europe, and the timely completion of the final phase at Heywood is very welcome.

“Thanks to our long and successful relationship with Russell WBHO and their ability to always bring our projects in on time, we have been able to bring new customers on immediately.

“This, along with the creation of a building which exceeds our own carbon reduction targets, comes down to the experience and expertise of a highly collaborative and responsive project team which has never let us down in more than 19 years.”

Two men in front of building

Andrew Russell, joint MD of Russell WBHO, added: “As the world’s leading cold store operator, Lineage has exacting standards for innovation and sustainability. It’s our job to exceed those expectations through smart design, construction expertise and the application of knowledge gained throughout our long partnership with the client.

“This building beats its targets on almost every criteria, with measures installed to ensure a reduction in carbon usage by more than 75% providing the client with a significant reduction on energy costs, and was delivered on time and on budget as planned.”

The extension provides another eight double-height loading docks and a temperature-controlled loading area to ensure a secure cold chain for products as they enter the facility from the temperature-controlled lorries.

In linking the structures together, the team had to consider conflicting priorities between ensuring temperature integrity, dehumidification and reduction in energy use, and the ability to move seamlessly around the building and between chambers. This required careful design and the use of specialist products such as insulation and fast-closing door seals, and management of the construction work alongside that of the existing operational chamber.

Russell WBHO was first appointed to build a unit at the Heywood site in 2002 and has worked for the operator at its other locations across the UK providing innovative design and build services for almost 20 years.

Pictured: Lineage Logistics director Tim Moran with Jonathan Rhodes, head of temperature controlled projects for Russell WBHO at the newly complete Heywood extension.