UK's first low carbon tools and equipment hire centre is launched in Milton Keynes

More than 100 people will be employed at Speedy's carbon neutral site

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 10:28 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 11:54 am

A national tool and equipment hire company has launched the UK's first low carbon hire centre in Milton Keynes.

The 100,000sq ft site owned by Speedy will employ more than 100 people to showcase the cutting edge of net-zero tools and equipment.

The business is already established in Milton Keynes with its central location and proximity to key infrastructure projects such as HS2 making it a natural choice for the new investment.

Speedy chief executive Russell Down, and Shaun McCarthy, chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, at the launch which welcomed over 120 major construction contractors

The low carbon centre will supply a range of zero-emission construction equipment delivered by a fleet of electric vehicles or vehicles run on biofuel.

More than 120 construction industry representatives attended the opening of its new Innovation centre in Milton Keynes that will showcase net-zero equipment and provide an extensive hire range for contractors.

The centre will showcase the latest electric, solar and hydrogen powered technologies that will help to lower contractors’ environmental impact. The site adds to the list of larger new regional service centre’s launched in the past 12 months including sites at Reading, Swindon, Doncaster, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, providing a comprehensive range of hire tools, equipment, plant and powered access under one roof.

All commercial vehicles operating out of the site will be electric or fuelled by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), which emits up to 90% less CO2e when compared to red diesel, minimising the environmental impact of deliveries.

The centre is powered by 670 solar panels and utilises pioneering bespoke energy efficient lighting and climate control technology. It’s also home to a wellbeing and wildflower garden, an 18-metre living wall and beehives made from repurposed hard hats. The site uses furniture, from desks to garden benches, made from recycled materials to help further lower its environmental impact.

Russell Down, chief executive at Speedy, said: “Our new Milton Keynes facility represents the gold standard in decarbonised construction hire. This first-of-its-kind facility showcases to industry the innovation that’s driving forward the development of new sustainable technologies, while acting as a blueprint for how we’ll minimise the environmental impact of our hire centres.

“Customers are increasingly scrutinising the sustainability of their supply chains to meet growing demand for low-carbon construction projects. We recognise as a key intermediary our responsibility to enable this transformation, which is why we’re investing millions of pounds across the business to expand our range of eco products, to decarbonise our delivery fleet, and to lower the environmental impact of our facilities.”

Shaun McCarthy, chair of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, who officially opened the site alongside Mr Down, said: “Speedy’s new centre is an impressive vision for the future of construction - hiring zero-emission equipment from a carbon neutral centre, delivered to site by an electric truck. Seeing a site like this, and the progress being made by manufacturers and intermediaries, proves how decarbonisation can soon be within the industry’s reach.”

Maria Willings, regional director for Midlands and Anglia at Speedy, said “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of the Speedy team in designing our new flaRgship Regional Service Centre. As well as its low carbon credentials and the ability to showcase the latest in product innovation, it will enhance the customer experience as well as make Speedy a great place to work for our people.”

Specialist services for lifting equipment, survey requirements, and powered access will also be available from the centre, with a dedicated training suite providing courses including safe working at height, through real-world and virtual technology.

Speedy is the UK’s leading provider of tools, equipment and plant hire services to a wide range of customers in the construction, infrastructure and industrial markets, as well as to local trade and consumers. It operates from 200 sites across the UK and Ireland [including a number within B&Q stores.