All you need to know about Hermes’ Barnsley hub

Hermes’ Barnsley parcel sortation hub, which is due to open in 2022, is the biggest of its kind in Europe. Situated in Hoyland, the purpose of the site is to sort parcels for onward delivery to Hermes’ network of depots across the UK and to process items that customers want to return to retailers.

We’ve seen huge numbers of people turn to online shopping and home delivery over the past 18 months, and the Barnsley hub will be able to process up to 1.3million parcels a day. But you won’t actually see many Hermes vans! This is because couriers won’t be collecting parcels from this hub. Our nearby depots and delivery units, where couriers collect parcels, will still be running as usual.

Understandably, it’s a pretty big site: 55 acres to be precise. You may have seen reports that we’ll be making it even bigger once the initial build has been finished. However, it’s been cleverly designed so that any extra sortation tiers or levels, if required, can be added within the warehouse, not externally. That means there won’t be any further construction work after the initial build.

Good for communities…

All those parcels need people to process them. So, we’ll be creating over 1,400 new full time roles and in addition, there will be around 300 temporary and part time roles available to support during busy periods for those looking for more flexible employment. And that’s not counting all the jobs that have been created already, through the site’s development and construction, many of which have been taken up by local firms.

There’ll be a wide range of jobs available, including a General Manager, Operations Managers, Health & Safety Officers, engineers, administrative and transport roles. And while there’ll also be a wide range of salary bands, we guarantee that every single employee will earn more than the mini-mum wage. And we never use zero-hour contracts -  all of our Parcel People are on contracts with dedicated hours and benefits.

We’re reaching out to local communities in other ways, too. Back in March, we were delighted to start a two-year kit and equipment sponsorship deal with Rockingham Colliery Cricket Club. 

We’re looking to work with local schools and have begun conversations to explore how we can offer support over the coming months and years. This will involve education around road safety – health and safety is a top priority for us and we have decades of experience in this area. We’re also keen to safely provide local schools with equipment and material from the construction site, so pupils can get messy building mud kitchens and insect hotels!

…and good for the environment

As a responsible business, we’re as concerned as you about pollution. Sustainability is at the forefront of our operations and we’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment.

This is demonstrated by our research and trials of alternative fuels and the fact that we have the biggest fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas) lorries of any UK delivery company We’re also growing our electric vehicle fleet. 

So, what does this mean for Barnsley? Well, CNG-fuelled HGVs are much quieter than their diesel counterparts. Due to strict low speed restrictions, they’ll be able to quietly operate onsite without be-ing noticed. And in terms of local roads, Hermes traffic will use the new bypass at off-peak times, leaving the road to Hoyland Common clear of through-traffic.

There’s a variety of eco initiatives in place onsite too. We’ve built in natural acoustic bunds – thick mounds of excess earth which are then grassed over – to absorb the small amounts of noise be-tween the site and nearby residential dwellings. 

We’ve also set aside space for a balancing pond to reduce risk of flooding, and we’ll create a substantial biodiversity area to support local wildlife. On the Hermes site alone, there will be more than 25,000 plants, trees and hedgerows planted. And the building itself will include solar panels on the roof and a rainwater-harvesting system – these have proven to be successful features in our other major hubs and depots. 

We’ve got lots of exciting plans and we can’t wait to get to know our new neighbours, so look out for further updates soon!