New plans revealed for Corby Weetabix factory as demolition set to start within weeks

Weetabix shut its doors in 2019

By Kate Cronin
Monday, 28th March 2022, 6:16 am
A CGI image of how the new warehouse will look alongside its Earlstrees Road neighbour Avon
A CGI image of how the new warehouse will look alongside its Earlstrees Road neighbour Avon

Plans for the site of an iconic Corby factory can be revealed today for the first time.

The former Weetabix factory in Earlstrees Road, built in 1960 for British Sealed Beams, has been empty since 2019 when the breakfast cereal firm consolidated its Corby operations to its second factory just a few hundred metres away.

Now it has been bought from local firm MPB by an investment partnership that has unveiled plans to demolish it and build a state-of-the art 16,000 square foot warehouse on the site which could create 200 jobs. The project will be called Earlstrees 160 and is set for completion in summer 2023, subject to planning.

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The existing Weetabix factory in Earlstrees Road

The scheme will be managed by Pembury Real Estate. Director James Wright spoke to the Northants Telegraph about the scheme. He said: "This is number one Earlstrees Road. It's in a prominent position so we want to get the design right.

"We're acutely aware of the residents to the north so we have tried to set the buildings down on the site and there'll be landscaping between the site and the residents.

"Its proximity to Corby means people will be able to walk to work."

The demolition of the building has been brought forward to April after it was twice targeted by groups of travellers during the past few weeks. The new owners have been working on the scheme since last summer.

Amid calls last year to preserve one of the iconic buildings of Corby's proud manufacturing history, it had been hoped that part of the building may be preserved for posterity. But that will not be the case, with the entire site flattened to make way for the modern logistics facility.

James added: "We looked at all the different scenarios including ways to repurpose the existing structure but when you look at the fabric and layout, it's just beyond economic repair and unfit for modern use."

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The building will also be 5m further away from the northern boundary to allow for landscaping to mature, and there will be acoustic fencing to minimise noise. There will be lower fencing and landscaping at the Earlstrees Road side of the building and additional trees will be added to the Rockingham Road side of the building.

Pembury Real Estate will oversee delivery of the project which is funded by Copley Point Capital, who have a joint venture vehicle with investment management firm Davidson Kempner. That vehicle is called Block Industrial - which is the ultimate owner of the development.

A statement from Pembury said: "We don’t have an occupier identified yet but we hope to attract inward investment to Corby with an occupier requiring accommodation in the East Midlands market area hopefully choosing to locate here."

Local specialist leasing agents Burbage Realty, Potter Learoyd and Prop-Search have already begun the search for a suitable tenant.