The factory closed its doors late last year, after Newcastle-based Longbenton Foods (which itself entered administration in March ), was unable to meet successive payment deadlines after paying an initial deposit to administrator Begbies Traynor, which subsequently rescinded the sale contract.
Sanderson Weatherall is seeking offers in the region of £400,000 for the site, and associate partner Richard Scott told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the firm hoped to sell the site as a single entity rather than divide it into lots.
Scott said there was strong interest in the building itself from an unnamed food industry bidder, and he described the structure as "eminently usable", albeit in need of some refurbishment.
Difficult economic situation
However, Scott said he was not anticipating a quick sale of the 130,000 sq ft building, which occupies a 10 acre site. “We’re talking to one very interested party and they are in the food industry," he said.
“In the current climate all we can say is that it will take as long as it takes – deals take longer because of the extra due diligence of banks. We’re working as quick as we can to bring it to a conclusion.”
Meanwhile, Dutch-based online auctioneer Troostwijk said it had completed a successful online sale of the machinery last Friday, which included potato processing equipment and freezers.
The firm's UK representative James Hague said there had been limited interest from the UK because of the difficult economic situation, but buyers had emerged from as far afield as Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Lebanon, South Africa and Pakistan.
He said: “We’ll probably have a little re-auction in a couple of weeks of the remaining 10%. We will clear the building – we have to be out by the end of the year and obviously there are costs associated with holding on to the remaining equipment.”
Hague declined to say how much money the sale had realised, adding that the total was “OK but not brilliant”.