Smartphone app launched to showcase rebuild of Gosforth Depot

VolkerFitzpatrick – who have been contracted by Stadler to rebuild the Tyne and Wear Metro depot at Gosforth – have developed a new smartphone app which will be able to keep the local community up-to-date with the £70 million project. It is hoped it will give a better understanding to local residents and businesses of the works taking place at the depot.

Throughout the project the team will be posting updates on the depot’s construction, including details of upcoming work activities, news and initiatives and events for the local community. It will also allow people to submit queries and to provide feedback on the project.

Marcus Dench, Project Manager for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “Our team is focused on keeping residents informed of our progress, to help build a positive relationship with the community and the wider supply chain. This is a big step forward in the way construction companies connect with local communities. It’s not only a simple communication tool that suits people’s lifestyles – especially during the current pandemic – but is also a platform which can be updated instantly, helping us provide the most up-to-date information available. We also aim to use the app to give an insight into the rail industry, providing learning resources to families, and to showcase the potential career paths available, as we highlight the different roles and skill sets needed to make this project a success.”

The app can be downloaded for both Android and Apple devices and can be found by searching “Gosforth Depot” in your usual app store.

Cathy Massarella, Major Projects Director Nexus, said: “he construction of a £70m new depot by VolkerFitzpatrick and Stadler is a vital element in our £500m plans to transform local public transport by 2025 – we cannot introduce new trains without new depot facilities. At Nexus we pride ourselves on keeping our communities involved in our projects and this app is another innovative solution to reach stakeholders and neighbours, letting them ask questions easily and find out about what’s happening to create this major environmentally-friendly new facility.”

To allow the reconstruction of the depot a new facility has been provided at Howdon which will allow some trainsets to be stabled and receive overnight maintenance. Once Gosforth Depot is completed it will be able to house the complete fleet of new Stadler trains.

Rob Baxter, Stadler Rail Service UK Managing Director, said: “We have committed to putting localism at the heart of this project. Part of that is about engaging proactively with the local community through a range of channels, in our capacity as a local business, a local employer and a neighbour. Over the next few years, while the work is carried out, VolkerFitzpatrick’s app will provide a very useful tool for local residents interested in how the work to build a new depot is taking shape.”

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