Work to convert one of the landmark buildings on the former Cadbury’s site in Keynsham into 100,000 sq ft of high quality employment space is on schedule for completion in June next year and will help create a vibrant new community within the town.
Contractors Andrew Wilson Partnership, working on behalf of St Monica Trust, are redeveloping the distinctive red brick Block C into a modern commercial building to accommodate a doctor’s surgery on the ground floor and five upper floors of efficient and distinctive office space.
The block, known as The Chocolate Factory, is part of a wider development called The Chocolate Quarter which will include 140 assisted living apartments, a 90-bed care home, retail outlets and leisure facilities. It is hoped that the retirement community and employment space will create up to 1,000 employment opportunities.
A number of new images of the space have recently been issued which show how The Chocolate Factory will retain or replicate as much as possible of the building’s industrial heritage, including its distinctive floor to ceiling window profiles which provide excellent natural daylight and spectacular views in all directions. It will feature a new double height reception and each floor enjoys large, open-plan and flexible floorplates. There will also be secure on-site car and cycle parking facilities.
By seeking to maximise the industrial heritage of the building, the development will provide the same type of character space as the successful Paintworks scheme in Bristol but on a much larger scale, says Alder King partner Simon Price.
“The proposed quality of the fit-out, the size of floorplates and the scheme’s proximity to the local amenities of Keynsham including the railway station will make this one of the most distinctive commercial locations outside Bristol and Bath.”
Matthew Cross, Head of Inward Investment at Invest Bristol & Bath added: “The Chocolate Factory will be the ideal space for businesses looking for stylish, well-located offices and would be a great fit particularly for creative, digital and hi-tech companies keen to be based within a globally-significant tech cluster.”
Taylor Wimpey is currently developing 700 new homes as part of its £34 million development of the Somerdale site.
The factory was constructed in the 1930s and closed in 2011 after Cadbury was taken over by US food giant Kraft.