This new contract award is made up of two elements, an initial feasibility study followed by a concept design. The feasibility study will explore the best way of converting the council’s fleet and waste management depot into a hub for sustainable operations, and will take into account time, cost-effectiveness and technological readiness. The outcome of that study will then be used to develop a concept design, which will focus on phasing the transformation to minimise the impact on operations.

Andy Clarke, Costain’s director for integrated transport, said: ‘We are delighted to be building on our strong partnership with Swindon Borough Council and to be helping the authority identify and take the necessary steps to reduce its scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. We share the same objectives of mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving air quality and supporting the growth of a new green skills economy.

‘We will draw on the full breadth of capability across Costain, bringing together experts in systems thinking, decarbonisation, clean energy, digital technologies, construction, innovation and behavioural science to create a truly integrated solution which matches Swindon’s ambition.’

This latest commission builds on the recommendations made in last year’s fleet decarbonisation strategy, which Costain carried out for Swindon Borough Council.

The Waterside Park depot hosts the council’s approximately 260-vehicle fleet of refuse, highways and maintenance vehicles, alongside household recycling, waste management services and offices for approximately 80 employees.

The work will ensure the site can meet future operational needs in a green way, with substantial additional charging capability and power capacity to support the transition of the council’s fleet of cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles to battery electric technology.

Cllr Chris Watts, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Transport at Swindon Borough Council, added: ‘If Swindon is to meet its Net Zero obligations by 2030, the decarbonisation of Waterside will be imperative. The site is well placed with suitable and available unused land to plan and implement compliant building infrastructure to replace the current aged and environmentally unfriendly factory units and offices.

The site would also take advantage of the neighbouring council-owned solar farm with space to expand and would seek to include the introduction of a large-scale battery storage facility. This is an exciting project that gives the council the opportunity to build a bespoke and efficient workplace facility as opposed to making good and fitting into existing infrastructure.

‘The project will present unique structural and financial challenges, not only for the borough council but also utility companies and central Government funding models. We look forward to meeting these multi-agency challenges head on as we take Waterside to the next level.’

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