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Former industrial sites acquired by Mendip District Council for mixed use redevelopment

Two adjoining brownfield sites in the centre of Frome in Somerset are set for mixed use redevelopment after they were simultaneously acquired by Mendip District Council. The site includes the freehold interest of the 5.35 acre former Notts Industries site and the adjacent 3.88 acre former Beswicks site.

Both sites are allocated in the emerging Local Plan for mixed use redevelopment.  Mendip District Council plans to help facilitate the development of the site to achieve a high quality regeneration that will be a credit to Frome and will include the creation of homes, commercial premises and public realm.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, Leader of Mendip District Council, said: “We are determined to invest in Frome’s future and have taken a bold and unusual move in buying the long-time derelict site in Frome for regeneration. We hope that this is seen as the right move by us as a Council.  We are aware that it is a complex site, but as well as the challenges there are great opportunities offered and we hope this development can be a scheme that Frome can be proud of and adds to the vitality of the town.”

The Notts Industries factory, which at one point was the country’s largest manufacturer of life floats but more recently manufactured car components, closed in 2012.  The site comprises a range of derelict former warehouse/industrial buildings and part of the Grade II listed Old Silk Mill, as well as hard standing and woodland.  It was put up for sale by the Notts Industries (Frome) Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme.

The Beswicks site, which during WW2 produced specialist fuses for the car and aviation industries and later became the largest manufacturer of domestic fuses, closed in 1999.  The site was subsequently acquired and cleared for redevelopment by Terramond Properties.

Initially appointed to market the Notts Industries site, property consultancy Alder King recommended marketing the adjacent Terramond site simultaneously to enhance their marriage value and offer scope for a more comprehensive redevelopment.  Following a competitive bidding process, Alder King secured the sale of both sites to Mendip District Council.

Jonathan Hazlett of Open Trustees which recently took over as trustee of the Notts Industries (Frome) Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme is delighted to see the former factory sites sold.  “After a long period of inactivity, it is very satisfying to see both sites sold to a buyer with a genuine vested interest in creating a scheme which will really benefit the residents of Frome.  We will watch progress of this exciting redevelopment with great interest.”

Eversheds Sutherland and Thrings provided legal advice to the trustees of the Notts Industries (Frome) Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme and Terramond Properties respectively.

Cushman & Wakefield and Ashfords provided property and legal advice to Mendip District Council.

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