Inside Amazon: We take a look behind the scenes of the Amazon factory in County Durham as they prepare for Christmas

By Amy Lea

You wouldn't be the first person to drive past this building on the A1 near Durham and wonder what went on inside...

This is one of Amazon's new 'fulfilment' centres in the region.

1000 full time staff and 1000 seasonal staff work here - sorting and packing orders online orders.

Lorcan Keating has been working here for 5 weeks. He's picking orders that will later be sorted into customer parcels.

His story is not unique.

Many people here have lost previous jobs or had their hours cut due to the pandemic.

Barry Duffy is packing up orders ready to ship out - it's different to what he used to do during Covid's first wave...

But Amazon has not been without its critics.

Unions have raised concerns across Europe about lack of social distancing at their sites, lack of PPE and also taking business away from small local businesses...many of whom have been forced to close by the second lockdown.

However Richard Thompson, who is the site leader, says the company has lots in place to keep workers safe, and support the local community:

It's believed similar sites are planned for Gateshead and there are rumours about another at Wynyard on Teesside.

And with online shopping likely to increase in the run up to Christmas - this region now has a stake in the operations of one of the world's biggest companies.