High Bay Storage and Distribution Centre

The completed development represents a major investment by AG Barr in the future of the company at their existing production facility in Cumbernauld, and is a landmark development for Central Scotland.

Location: Cumbernauld
Client: AG Barr plc
Cost: £18m
Completion: 2008

The High Bay Storage facility contains 4 cranes for automated storage and retrieval of up to 10,000 pallets, 14 pallets high. The Distribution Centre handles the daily preparation of up to 60 wagons and articulated vehicles for local and national distribution and sales operations.

The high bay building of 2500m2 plan area contains an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) which stores up to 10,000 pallets of finished goods and raw materials and which can handle pallets at a rate of nearly 200 per hour. The automated plant was supplied by a specialist Swiss company, with whom extensive coordination was required during the design of the high bay structure.

The 8400m2 plan area low bay building serves as a new order picking, load marshalling and distribution centre, and holds up to 3000 pallets of finished goods. Wagons are loaded and dispatched every day from 12 bays with the equivalent of nearly 700 tonnes of AG Barr product. The low bay building includes a 2-storey office, workshop and maintenance area.

Blyth & Blyth were the Project Manager, Civil & Structural Engineer and Contract Manager for the project, and were responsible for Planning and Building Warrant Approvals and for all consultation with utility companies required to take the project from concept to handover within 24 months.  The new facility was constructed on a greenfield site, and included a major earthmoving contract prior to commencement of the new buildings and infrastructure.

Key challenges

The new project coincided with a rationalisation of manufacturing and distribution sites by the client in Central Scotland, therefore resources were at a premium and Blyth & Blyth were required to lead the technical and commercial aspects of the new development at Cumbernauld.

The programme required that the enabling works and earthworks contracts progressed over the winter period, but despite the inclement weather these contracts were successfully completed to programme.

Coordination of the main plant and equipment with erection of the high bay building was successfully undertaken through close cooperation between the client, the plant supplier and Blyth & Blyth. In the latter stages of the contract, integration of the new facility with the existing manufacturing plant was successfully carried out without disruption to production or safety issues.


The facility was completed on programme and within budget, despite the Main Contractor going into administration part way through the project following overseas losses. The facility continues to meet the Client’s requirements in terms of operation performance and maintenance.