UK retailer The Co-operative Group has opened a GBP22m (US$33.6m) distribution centre in north Derbyshire that is expected to create around 300 new jobs.

The facility, opened this week, will complete the overhaul of its entire UK-wide logistics network, the retailer said. It concludes a project started by the group in 2004 to transform and modernise its distribution network to keep pace with the growth of its food business.

The 480,000sq ft multi-temperature depot is expected to be fully operational by October 2013, when it will employ around 1,060 staff. It will service 528 Co-op food stores in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

“This investment in Castlewood is the final piece in the jigsaw for our logistics operation following a period of phenomenal change,” said Steve Murrells, chief executive of The Co-op’s food arm. “The massive investment in systems, facilities and people has resulted in a better working environment, increased efficiencies and productivity across our entire logistics operation, servicing more than 2,800 stores across the UK.”