Leatherhead Research in £9M move to near Epsom

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

The new headquarters, Great Burgh, near Epsom
The new headquarters, Great Burgh, near Epsom

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Leatherhead Food Research (LFR) is relocating its headquarters from Leatherhead to a new heritage site near Epsom in a £9M move.

The move to Burgh Heath comes after the renowned research organisation was bought out of administration​ by the Science Group for £1.6M in September.

Science Group has now invested £9M and purchased a freehold property, named Great Burgh, which includes a Grade II listed house and modern offices set in nine-acre grounds.

LFR managing director Chris Wells said site was ideal for new laboratory facilities, a consumer sensory centre and conference and training centre.

Announcement of move

“The new facilities at Great Burgh will enable us to continue to provide market leading services to the food and drink industry.”

  • Chris Wells, managing director, Leatherhead Food Research

‘Excited about the future’

“We are delighted to have found Great Burgh and excited about the future for Leatherhead,”​ Wells said.

“The investment by Science Group is fantastic news for our members, employees and customers and reflects the focus on innovation that sets Leatherhead apart.

“The new facilities at Great Burgh will enable us to continue to provide market leading services to the food and drink industry.”

LFR’s operations will start to relocate to Great Burgh at the start of 2016 and it is expected that the transfer would be completed by the middle of the year.

In September Science Group acquired the operating business and assets of LFR – excluding its freehold property in Leatherhead – from the administrator. This property is effectively owned by the pension trustees. 

A LFR spokeswoman said: “Leatherhead Food Research are currently now tenants of the building and there are numerous other tenants that are also located in the building.

“As far as we understand no future plans have been announced by the landlord.”

The Great Burgh property is located next to Toyota’s UK headquarters. First built in the 17th Century, the original house was demolished and rebuilt in a neo-Georgian style in 1912/13.

Formerly used by BP

The building was used as a research department by the Distiller’s Company before being sold to British Petroleum, now known as BP, in 1967.

After 10 years, BP sold the property to Beecham Pharmaceuticals which then relocated in the 1990s and sold the property on.

Founded in 1919, LFR has a reputation for regulatory consultancy, product development, consumer research, nutrition science, food safety, information services and training.

LFR has tried to differentiate itself from the larger food research group Campden BRI and has suffered a squeeze​ on government and private sector research spending in recent years.

See images of the Great Burgh property below:

great burgh 3
Great Burgh 2

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