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Business & Economy

£9.1 million Redevelopment of Council’s multi-purpose depot in Washington begins

The project will drive forward Sunderland City Council’s green energy targets.

The £9.1 million redevelopment of Parsons Vehicle Workshop and Depot, which will help make Sunderland cleaner and greener is now underway.

Local contractor Esh Construction is building a brand-new depot building on the Washington site, as well as a fuel station, electric charging hub, and a large barn which can store up to 7500 tonnes of gritting salt.

The development will provide a new strategic asset for Sunderland City Council and support its aim of making the city carbon neutral by 2040. It will house frontline services for fleet management, highways operations, refuse collection, horticultural services, and seasonal road gritting.

Esh Construction was appointed as contractor in 2020 after the scheme was procured via the North East Procurement Organisation and led the planning application, which was given the green light earlier this year. Divisional Director, Gary Dobson, said: “Esh Construction is proud to be delivering a scheme which will lead the way in improving sustainability and carbon reduction for the Council’s vehicle fleet.

“As a local contractor we will deliver social and economic value throughout this scheme, with a key focus on procuring a local supply chain, employing a local workforce, and providing on-site training opportunities.”

Deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and cabinet member for the environment, councillor Claire Rowntree, said: “The redevelopment of Parsons Depot will help to ensure that the council can continue to deliver quality frontline services to residents, and it expands our capacity for further frontline service developments as we invest in new and lower carbon vehicles.

“This investment is an important part of our plans as we continue to work towards our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city.”

The depot will include solar photo voltaic and battery storage system, which is being match funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will capture the energy produced by the solar PV – limiting the electricity required from the grid – and provide a charging facility for the councils growing electric vehicle fleet.

Major groundworks – vibro compaction, deep drainage installation and foundation construction – have kickstarted the project, paving the way for the new building.

It is anticipated that staff will move into the new building in Spring 2022 and the final phase will see the old depot demolished to make way for additional car parking.


To find out more about Esh Construction, visit