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Work starts on £20m Greencroft Two self-powered bottling plant in County Durham

By Coreena Ford

A North East wine bottling business is creating a new £20m building which set to become one of the region’s most sustainable facilities.

Lanchester Group of Companies has launched construction of Greencroft Two near Stanley, County Durham, which will become a self-powered home for its Greencroft Bottling Company, the sister business to Lanchester Wines.

The new £20m building will be more than 235,000 sq ft – equivalent to about four football pitches – and will more than double the potential capacity at Greencroft Bottling to up to 400m litres per year, which is equivalent to 28% of all wine sold in the UK.

Read more: go here for more North East business news

Once complete, Greencroft Two will be able to accommodate up to 10 bottling lines and seven ancillary lines for bag-in-box, cans, pouches, key kegs or any new types of sustainable packaging. The first of the building’s new production lines – a new £2.6m counter-pressure line with sparkling capabilities - will be operational by next spring. The company will then gradually bring the remaining existing lines over from the current Greencroft Bottling, without disruption to production.

The building will be the first in the UK to use Quadcore insulation PowerPanels fitted on the roof, which will create around 1.7m kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

Developed by Kingspan, the PowerPanels and wall insulation will make Greencroft Two one of the most advanced thermally efficient buildings in the market. Its solar panels are efficient at cooler temperatures, aiding the generation of clean renewable power to use within the facility, helping the business reach sustainability targets.

Lanchester Group managing director Tony Cleary said: “We’re spending more than we might otherwise on a new building, investing an additional £3million in sustainable practices. But we’ll soon get that extra investment back through the energy savings, so what’s good for the planet is good for the business too.

“We’ve even adjusted the gradient of the roof to make the most of the sun. On the north side, if we’d used the normal gradient, we would have had 400 kilowatt hours but by lowering it, we’ll get 700 kilowatt hours. The existing wind turbines will also provide backup power and we will, at a later date, be installing batteries to store the power we generate - the challenge with renewable energy is that it’s not always used when it’s produced.”

When Greencroft Two is complete, it is estimated that, overall – with new solar and existing on-site wind turbines combined – the business will generate over seven million kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy.

Mr Cleary added: “We estimate we have spent about £10m on renewables since we started in 2011, with wind turbines, solar panels and heat pump technology. This building will be around £15m to complete and we estimate we have spent around £3m more than it would otherwise have cost to add the sustainability features.

“We’re a family business so if we can do it, then the big companies certainly can, being carbon neutral is just the beginning.”

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Dive Deeper:
20 solutions to climate change you can try from your own home
Many are simpler and easier than you think
Owners of Mannok mull sale of former Quinn empire
Owners of Mannok, the former Quinn Industrial Group, are understood to be considering selling some or all of their stake…
Spot power prices ease at Exchange
Seasonal factors, pick up in wind energy generation to impact spot tariff, say experts
California just ran on 100% renewable energy, but fossil fuels aren't fading away yet
California broke its record for renewable energy when solar and wind provided enough to meet all consumer demand. At the…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
PM pushes idea of cutting energy bills for people living near onshore wind farms
Boris Johnson said people might ‘buy into’ having turbines near their homes if their bills were reduced.
BBC Scotland Home of the Year in Glasgow - meet the couples behind top three properties
The popular property programme on BBC One and BBC Scotland will be travelling to Glasgow and The Clyde Valley in…
Get all your news in one place