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Plans to regenerate empty factory could create hundreds of new jobs

PUBLISHED: 11:31 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 25 May 2020

The factrory to be converted is the central building of the three large properties in the centre of the photo standing on Carr Road Picture: DAVID MORTIMER

The factrory to be converted is the central building of the three large properties in the centre of the photo standing on Carr Road Picture: DAVID MORTIMER

David Mortimer

A huge redundant factory which was put up for sale for £3million could be transformed into a new multi-purpose business complex creating hundreds of new jobs.

The former factory in Carr Road, Felixstowe, which could be converted into a business complex Picture: RICHARD CORNWELLThe former factory in Carr Road, Felixstowe, which could be converted into a business complex Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The 60,956 sq ft steel framed building – which stands on a 6.53-acre site in Carr Road, Felixstowe – was previously home to technology company Itron, which has relocated to the nearby Haven Exchange business park.

Peter Colby Commercials Group has now applied to convert the main building into a mix of business units, offices, light industry and storage, along with a cafe/sandwich bar.

There will be some demolition of buildings on site and a new access onto Carr Road, along with an additional 116 parking spaces, bringing the total to 286.

It previously provided employment for 250 people and could now become home to 20 new businesses.

Planning consultants Pomery, agents on behalf of the applicants, said: “The development will create a business enterprise centre, to be known as The Languard Point Enterprise Centre, designed to function in a campus-style of operation.

“Built as a bespoke factory for making meters, the design, layout and scale of the accommodation would be unsuitable for most single business users.

“Some seven months of marketing has not produced a manufacturing business willing to take the building on. The applicant intends to break the factory building up to create a range of smaller business units in different sizes and types of use to attract new and existing business to the area. It is anticipated that the site will attract many new jobs.

“Without being broken into individual units, which are more likely to appeal to the local market and businesses of varying sizes, the building would have an uncertain future and the opportunity to create an Enterprise Centre, with fresh, modern employment-generating units would be lost.”

A report to East Suffolk Council says the applicant – now owners of the complex– has already carried out some initial marketing of the concept and this has resulted in a number of businesses expressing an interest in the units available at the site.

The factory, which stands next to the River of LIfe Church, was built in 1989 for Itron and its manufacture of domestic gas and electricity meters.

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