Vehicle remarketing and recycling company Copart UK is creating a new 68-acre operation centre in East Anglia as part of a major expansion programme to meet continued and growing demand from its insurer customers.
Copart’s UK division already moves more than half a million vehicles a year and handles £750 million (US$1 billion) worth of vehicle assets.
The new operation centre near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk will be the largest vehicle storage and processing centre in the UK, according to Copart. It will also be the company’s 17th site in this jurisdiction.
Copart’s announcement about the new operation centre follows the creation of a major new customer service centre in Bedford, the quadrupling in size of its Bristol operations centre, the significant expansion of its vehicle fleet, and the doubling of its operational capabilities in Scotland with a new operation centre near Glasgow.
Jane Pocock, UK and Ireland managing director at Copart, said: “Demand from our insurer customers continues to rise and it’s fantastic that we are investing to future-proof our business, considering the evolving car parc and the increase in extreme weather events.”
“This site enhances our network of super centres and improves storage capacity for anticipated growth in recycling, electric, and hydrogen vehicles, as well as helping to accelerate the diversification of our business into green parts handling.”
“This investment marks another significant step forward for our UK business and illustrates our ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry and continuing to provide market leading services to all our customers.”
Pocock added: “From an environmental point of view, Copart is committed to ensuring sustainability across all operation centres so we will be deploying sustainable building methods and materials with large parts of the building construction undertaken off site and at specialist factories where there is greater control of the process and much less waste.”
In line with Copart’s sustainability strategy, ‘Copart Cares’, existing areas of established mature trees and woodland will be retained and will be further strengthened by the planting of native species across 17-acres of the 68-acre site.
The company also plans to support growth in wildlife, and minimise environmental impact on commuting bats, through the use of bat-boxes and dark sky lighting.
Following a detailed ecology survey that assessed the current biodiversity, it is expected that the development will increase the ecological value of the site by more than 10% above the current level, according to Copart.
The Bury St Edmunds site is expected to be operational by the end of 2022, subject to standard planning and will provide between 100 and 120 new jobs. Apprenticeships will also be available.
Copart UK is part of the US-based global Copart business and currently employs around 1,100 people in the UK.