Supply chain specialist Wincanton has been awarded the contract to operate Sainsbury's new manual distribution centre in Northampton and has appointed Gavin Williams to run it.

Gavin Williams, who was previously general manager for business development at Wincanton, will take on the role of general manager.

He will join the project team headed by Sainsbury's regional logistics director Mike Sturt and regional project manager Andy Mullings.

They will be responsible for preparing the summer opening of the new depot, which will serve 50 stores and create 900 new jobs.

Work has already started on the 620,000 sq ft site, which is being designed and developed by Pro:Logis.

Sainsbury's plans to build the distribution centre to high-standards of environmental efficiency.

"I'm delighted to welcome Wincanton on board with whom we already share a successful working relationship," said Sainsbury's supply chain director Roger Burnley.

He said he was confident Wincanton's experience and expertise would deliver an efficient and fully-integrated depot to the benefit of Sainsbury's stores and customers alike. "The new depot is an industry-leading development," he added.