The Co-operative Group’s Midlands distribution centre opens today.

The opening of the 480,000 sq ft, £22m depot in Castlewood, north Derbyshire brings to an end a long-running programme by the society to overhaul its distribution network, which it has admitted was “not fit for purpose”. Since 2004, it has closed a number of smaller DCs and replaced them with 10 ‘super depots’ in strategic locations across the UK.

Castlewood will serve 528 Co-op food stores in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. It will create around 300 new jobs and employ 1,060 people.

“The opening of Castlewood marks a major milestone for The Co-operative and the completion of a radical revamp of our entire logistics network,” said Co-op Group food CEO Steve Murrells.

“The Co-operative now has one national distribution centre in Coventry and nine new multi-temperature state-of-the-art regional distribution centres,” he added.

“Together they will ensure that we are better equipped than ever before to support our food stores, and ensure that we maintain the high level of produce availability and service that Co-operative customers expect.”