AN innovative freight project developed by the Potter Group’s Selby Centre designed to cut carbon emissions has been recognised by a leading national industry organisation.

The Potter Group project was selected by the UK Warehouse Association (UKWA) as one of the top three in the Environment category of its annual awards ceremony.

Derrick Potter, founder and executive chairman of the group, has spent more than £8.5 million converting former British Sugar land and its disused rail spur off Barlby Road into an efficient road-to-rail goods operation.

This integrates with 500,000 sq ft of hi-tech warehousing on the 62 acre site.

He said: “We have always championed rail freight as a viable alternative to road, to reduce congestion and to help cut carbon emissions – both important government targets.

“The project UKWA selected is a new rail and road service we are running for Munton’s Malt from their Bridlington plant to the Inbev brewery in Glasgow via Selby.

“Thanks to a special food grade rail bulk container that we developed which can be quickly switched from road transport to rail, the overnight rail service is cutting annual road travel by some 200,000 miles. That is reducing CO2 emissions by over 80 per cent.”

Started in Yorkshire in 1965, The Potter Group remains a private family business with its head office in Ripon, operating from five regional distribution centres, three of which are rail linked. Mr Potter, the 2002 Press Business Personality of The Year, whose group was also named Best Environmental Company Of The Year in the same awards, is a long-time advocate of rail freight as part of an integrated distribution network, and has worked to develop innovative concepts and long-term partnerships with clients using a mix of road, rail and multimodal services.

Independently owned Muntons Malt is one of the UK’s leading suppliers to the brewing and distilling trades, providing Inbev UK with the malt to brew UK top-sellers such as Stella Artois, Tennent’s Lager, Bass Ale and Boddingtons.