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The new state-of-the-art Medway mail centre has started processing his first letters and parcels.
The site in Rochester is capable of handling up to 3.2million items of mail a night and will eventually become the only mail centre in Kent once processing work transfers from Canterbury, Dartford, Maidstone and Tonbridge mail centres.
When fully operational in the autumn, 850 staff will sort mail posted to and from addresses in the CT, DA, ME and TN postcode areas.
They will use six new intelligent letter sorting machines which sort mail into batches than can be sequenced into exact walk order to save postmen and women in delivery offices time when preparing to go out on their rounds.
At full speed, the machines can sort up to 45,000 items an hour. There will also be five machines for cancelling stamped mail and one flat sorting machine for A4 sized mail.
The new centre has a number of sustainable and energy efficient features to help Royal Mail reduce its carbon footprint. These include rooflights over 10% of the area, providing natural daylight into the building to supplement highly efficient lighting, and a solar wall to deliver pre-heated air into heating systems and solar panels in the roof to provide hot water, supplemented by energy efficient bio-mass boilers.
Keith Tomlinson, Medway Mail Centre Plant Manager, said: "We are delighted to start processing mail at our new Medway mail centre today. This is a key milestone in modernising our operations across Kent and ensuring we have the most efficient and effective network for sorting and delivering mail for the future.
"I would like to reassure our customers that maintaining a high quality service to them is a top priority and we are doing all we can to minimise any disruption as we make these operational changes, which are vital to put Royal Mail on a sound, sustainable footing."