Asda’s massive new distribution centre officially opened its doors on Wednesday.
The £38.5 million facility, in Earls Road, Grangemouth, has been up and running for a number of weeks but was not deemed officially operational until Falkirk Provost Pat Reid joined Asda staff at a special ceremony on Wednesday morning.
Provost Reid enjoyed a “butcher’s selection” breakfast before taking a tour of the 35.7 acre premises which will support 58 Asda stores in Scotland, replacing the existing depot in nearby West Mains Industrial Estate.
A total of 90 new jobs have been created and many more secured with the opening of the new depot and staff are now able to benefit from state-of-the-art amenities including a restaurant serving locally-sourced food and a gym to work it off.
Colin Reid, general manager, said: “We are delighted so many members of the local community are with us to celebrate what is a milestone both for the community and Asda’s future in Scotland.
“I’m proud to welcome our new colleagues joining us at this impressive site. We are now focused on delivering a truly world class operation here in Grangemouth.”
The development has not been without controversy, with complaints over trees being cut down to make way for the massive structure and fears voiced that the addition of the depot would bring traffic chaos to the town.
Locals - including Grangemouth Community Council - have been concerned about the effect the depot would have on the area’s roads since August last year, when it was announced Asda would be building on the former ICI Social Club site.
Councillor Robert Spears warned HGV deliveries to and from the depot - expected to number as many as 500 per day - and large numbers of staff driving to work, would be certain to cause traffic headaches for an already under-pressure road network.
He said: “What you will have here shortly is absolute chaos. We cannot keep developing the town without having the infrastructure in place.”
Asda denied the new depot would add significantly to the traffic levels in the local area and Falkirk Council stated the roads network would be able to cope with any additional traffic, since the majority of the HGV movements would take place outwith peak times in Earls Road, with site staff entering and exiting the site via Forth and Clyde Way.
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