Firm ready for challenge of redeveloping 'iconic' Somerdale factory buildings

Published on: 06 Sep 2014

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The head of the firm that will carry out the regeneration of the 1920s chocolate factory buildings at Somerdale said their iconic status is one of the reasons behind the acquisition.

Freeman Retirement Living says the site will be its largest project to date, creating 120,000 sq ft of employment space as well as a care home. It is hoped the home will be accommodated in one of the red-brick buildings, along with work space for other firms and apartments, although plans are at a very early stage.

Once complete, it is hoped that more than 1,000 jobs will be provided by employers based at the site, where Taylor Wimpey is also creating up to 700 new homes, some shops and a primary school.

Luke Freeman, joint managing director of Forest of Dean-based Freeman Retirement Living, said: “We were attracted to this site by these iconic buildings and the fact that it is such an interesting and challenging development opportunity in a great area.”

The company, which has just completed a retirement village in Chippenham, is a division of MF Freeman Group which also carries out commercial development projects among other services.

Councillor Paul Crossley, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “This is an exciting proposal and we look forward to receiving more details so that we can assess the benefits to residents both now and for generations to come.”

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