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Morrison Busty Depot improvements

A programme of work has begun which will see Morrison Busty Depot near Annfield Plain become a low carbon site with a large-scale solar farm built to power the services that operate from the depot.

    What we are doing

    The project includes:

    • a three megawatt solar farm to power the whole depot, reducing the carbon emission of buildings by replacing natural gas heating with air source heat pumps, and battery storage which will ensure as much solar generation will be used on site as possible
    • electric vehicle charge points so we can move to making our vehicles electrically powered
    • ecology work to improve the biodiversity within and around the solar farm
    • working with ecology consultants to safeguard the future of any newts, birds, and special grasslands within the area
    • making buildings more energy efficient with a thermal upgrade
    • refurbishment of main office buildings to improve energy efficiency, including LED lighting
    • restoration of Bevin buildings which have historical interest and connections to County Durham's mining history
    • a new vehicle workshop

    Project timeline


    • April - appoint a specialist contractor to do the work
    • May - the final stages of design, work with ecology consultants
    • June - construction starts
    • July - demolish some colliery buildings
    • Autumn/winter - offices will receive a thermal upgrade


    • work on solar farm, charging points and battery storage
    • restore Bevin buildings
    • vehicle workshop
    • June - work finishes

    Project background

    We have received £5m from the European Regional Development Fund to carry out a major refit of the depot. We have also committed an additional £3.3m from our Invest to Save fund.

    The work supports the pledge in our Climate Emergency Action Plan to reduce our carbon emissions and become a carbon neutral county by 2050. The work carried out as part of this project will save more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and reduce our total emissions by up to 4%.

    The depot, on the site of  Morrison Busty Colliery, provides equipment storage, a base for our vehicles, a tip (HWRC), a horticultural nursery and offices.

    European Union - European Regional Development Fund logo
    Northern Powerhouse logo

    In partnership with

    • European Union - European Regional Development Fund
    • Northern Powerhouse
    Contact us
    Climate Emergency