A look inside Buckshaw’s Waitrose Distribution Centre - picture special

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They said the new ​Waitrose distribution centre in Buckshaw Village was going to be big business.

But the scale of the operation really is astonishing, with hundreds of workers busy behind its vast doors to cater for 57 branches in the north of England and Scotland.

Waitrose distribution centre, Buckshaw Village

Waitrose distribution centre, Buckshaw Village

Known within the supermarket chain as the Leyland RDC (regional distribution centre), the sprawling £35m facility serve​s​ Helensborough furthest north in Scotland, and Market Harborough furthest south in Leicestershire.

The site, which opened in 2013, was chosen for its perfect position on the national motorway network. The only nearby branch is at Walton-le-Dale, but Waitrose is committed to rolling out more stores in the near future.

Chester and Manchester Piccadilly are new branches that have opened this autumn and are ​also ​served from ​the ​Leyland​ RDC​.

What’s more, all of the lorries which drive in and out of the centre and around the country are built in Leyland.

Luke Preston, manager of Leyland RDC, said: “We have really established ourselves in the local community in Leyland since opening the distribution centre, and the site has been integral to our further expansion into the north of the country.

“Our partnership with Leyland DAF has continued to develop over the past decade, and as our operation has grown the relationship has gone from strength to strength.

“The opening of the centre in Leyland created a local venture between the two companies, hugely benefiting the community via the creation of hundreds of new jobs and huge investment into surrounding businesses.

“The bulk of the Waitrose and John Lewis fleet is now made up of DAF trucks, and Leyland alone services all of our branches across the North of England and Scotland.”