Kraft hangs ‘for sale’ sign on Cadbury Somerdale

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bnp paribas, Cadbury plc

BNP Paribas is marketing Somerdale on Kraft's behalf
BNP Paribas is marketing Somerdale on Kraft's behalf
US food giant Kraft has confirmed to FoodManufacture.co.uk that it is selling off Cadbury’s iconic Somerdale site as a mixed-use residential development.

BNP Paribas Real Estate has been instructed by Kraft to undertake a freehold sale of the 220 acre site with its buildings dating from the 1920s and 1930s, of which 64 acres is described as ‘developable’.

Following the decision to close Somerdale - where production finally stopped in January 2011 - the agent said Cadbury (now Kraft Foods) and its project team had worked with Bath and Northeast Somerset Council to identify redevelopment options​for the site.

Around 600 residential units – with 20,000m2​ of employment space – could be provided, said BNP Paribas, while the new buyer will have to either relocate or retain the Fry Club (a sports and social clubhouse for local residents) on the site.

Cadbury heiress heartbroken

Andrew Taylor, director in development and residential consulting at BNP Paribas Real Estate said: “We have been working with Cadbury and subsequently Kraft Foods for a number of years to identify development opportunities for the brownfield site.

“The site represents a unique opportunity for a mixed-use scheme that which could contribute massively to the local demand for housing and generate significant job opportunities.”

But Cadbury heiress Felicity Loudon, who opposed Kraft's £11.5bn takeover of the firm and claims to be starting a chocolate venture of her own as a result, told The Sun newspaper: "The 400 employees at Somerdale took Kraft's word at face value. Now this - it's heartbreaking."

Attractive riverside setting...

The official Somerdale sale brochure reveals that the site sale - with best offers invited on an informal tender basis by midday on May 11 - comprises the former Cadbury factory and associated grounds, that (in estate agent speak) “occupy an attractive setting on the banks of the River Avon”.

“Somerdale presents a major opportunity to provide new, high quality employment space, homes, leisure, recreation and community facilities.

“The site has exceptional potential for a new, distinctive high quality neighbourhood, utilising its water meadow setting and the river for a mix of employment, residential and recreational uses,” ​it adds.

Related topics: Confectionery

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1 comment

Will Somerdale Be Demolished?

Posted by Mick Quinn,

I see that the former Cadbury`s factory at Keynsham is now up for sale. I wonder whether this means the factory buildings will be demolished and the extensive sports fields lost under housing development. I consider the site to be be of architectural and environmental value. It is a superb example of how a factory site can be designed and built to blend in with a rural setting.

Having made the train journey from Bristol to Bath on summer evenings and seen cricket being played on the lush green pitches, it would be a sad loss for it to be replaced by a featureless housing estate. There are large brown field sites both in central Bath and Bristol suitable for development without spoiling greenfields.

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