A £6m flagship commercial vehicle service centre for Scania has been officially opened at Brooklyn Park, Maidstone.
Scania’s new state-of-the-art service centre was opened by Sweden’s Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Nicola Clase, on Monday 7 December.
Brooklyn Park, just off Junction 6 of the M20, has been developed by Maidstone-based Gallagher Group. It is now home to the first of a new generation of purpose-built UK premises created by Scania to serve the operators of its trucks, coaches and commercial vehicles.
Her Excellency, the Ambassador was joined at the ceremony by Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Daniel Moriarty, 100 Kent transport operators, alongside senior Scania executives and representatives from Maidstone Borough Council and Brooklyn Park’s owner, Gallagher Properties.
Scania Maidstone, will operate 24 hours a day from the 2.5-acre site and employ 35 people, following the relocation of the company’s Sittingbourne facilities
The company is confident that due to the location of the site on the M20, with excellent links to the M2, it will need to recruit a further 18 members of staff over the next year.
Claes Jacobsson, Managing Director of Scania (Great Britain) Limited, said: “Scania Maidstone is a clear statement of our intent to provide our customers with the highest possible levels of quality and service.
“It represents the latest major investment in our UK network infrastructure. The programme will continue in 2016 with the upgrading of several existing Scania UK sites either planned or underway.”
Scania Maidstone is on the A229 just off junction 6 of the M20, an ideal location both for local operators and for those travelling to and from the Kent ports.
Nick Yandle of Gallagher Group, said: “Brooklyn Park is perfect for Scania, and we are very proud of what has been achieved, including every aspect of the construction process.
“It posed a few technical challenges for the team with the site surrounded by roads on all three sides, including the M20 to the south, motorway slip roads to the north and west, and Chatham Road A229 to the east.
“Thanks to a significant amount of planning, the cooperation of Highways England, and use of directional drilling technology, we were able to drill two small ducts under the M20, avoiding any disruption to traffic, to bring power, water, gas and telecommunications to the site.
“Brooklyn Park clearly shows that Maidstone can bring jobs and investment to the town when it makes the best use of its motorway junctions.”
Before construction process got underway, great crested newts were moved from a restricted ‘island’ habitat to a new unrestricted habitat at the nearby Allington Castle Estate. Great crested newts are a protected European species and the plan includes a six-year monitoring programme agreed with Natural England to monitor their relocation.
The on-site pond previously occupied by the newts has been preserved, with bat and bird boxes and hibernacula now sited around its perimeter. Additionally, a seasonal wetland area to the west of the site has been formed in order to provide ecology interest.
The premises have been designed for efficiency not only from the ground up but also beneath the surface, where a subterranean fire-fighting water tank is fed with rainwater harvested from the roof. This tank overflows to the preserved pond, which itself then overflows to soakaways.
The roof also houses 300 square metres of photo-voltaic panels to supply power to the development, with any surplus fed into the national grid.
The planning consent obtained for the site allows for 24-hour operation and brings into use a parcel of land, which would otherwise have been redundant as a result of highway works. A key part of the development has been to implement a significant number of environmental initiatives.
The premises feature five drive-through workshop bays and a DVSA Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) lane. A full Scania parts service, including parts for all makes, trailers and ancillary components will be offered. In addition, the site will house both new and used truck sales operations and feature a Scania Truck Rental location.