Building Use

Retail Facilities

Project Duration

13 weeks

Procurement Method


Why buy from Portakabin

Project Features

  • In-store bakery
  • Frozen food and chiller sections
  • Office
  • Store room
  • Staff facilities
  • Plant room
  • Cleaner’s area
  • Bulk storage
  1. The Requirements

    Tesco had an urgent need for an interim store to help ease some of the problems facing the flood-hit community of Workington in Cumbria. The supermarket would operate in addition to the main Tesco store in Workington, which was now out of reach to thousands of residents cut off on the north side of the River Derwent.

  1. The solution

    Portakabin was brought in to build a new, 13,300sqft interim Tesco supermarket on a brownfield site using its advanced Portakabin Design and Build solution. The company worked tirelessly to install the building in an unprecedented 18 hours. The store was open and trading just 13 days after work started on site. Portakabin and main contractors Johnson Construction worked through the night, completing the installation of the store at 6am ready for shop fitting to begin.

    The entire building was manufactured less than a week after Portakabin received the order from Tesco. On site, 26 modules measuring 14 metres long were craned into position in an accelerated programme of one unit every 30 minutes. This involved two teams of ten site staff working in shifts through the night, to achieve a watertight envelope as fast as possible for the shop-fitting teams. The store, which has a retail sales area of 10,000sqft, was a new modular supermarket design that Portakabin had developed with Tesco. It is almost three times the size of the convenience stores manufactured for Tesco previously, and has been engineered to minimise the number of internal columns and maximise clear spans.

This is the first time we have ever built a store in such a short time. At this time of year our customers are busy enough without a three-hour journey just to get to the supermarket. Many of our own staff have been badly affected by flooding so the temporary store will help them too. This project is a really exceptional achievement.

Daniel Frith, Development Manager, Tesco

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