Former factory faces demolition

A disused factory in a business park could soon be demolished.

The former Saxon Valley Foods premises in Biggleswade could be knocked down due to a lack of interest from prospective new owners.

WYG Planning and Environment have approached Central Beds Council to enquire about possible demolition of the Stratton Business Park building.

The firm has also contacted the council about putting in a possible planning application to build new warehouse and trade units at the site.

The company has said that there has been minimal interest in the Montgomery Way building since Saxon Valley Foods closed down back in January 2009.

The factory once employed 380 people, but parent company Bakkavor was forced to close the site due to financial uncertainty.

Speaking at the time, a spokesman for Bakkavor explained that it had been making losses for a prolonged period. He said in the months leading up to the closure it had become clear that recovery would not be possible, due to the impact of reduced sales volumes and increasing input costs.

He added: “During the consultation process the company considered all alternatives, but closure of the site was agreed to be the only viable option.

“Our actions are in no way a reflection on the employees, who over the years have demonstrated the utmost commitment and professionalism.

“We recognise that it has been a very difficult time for all of the staff involved, and the company will continue to focus on supporting its remaining employees until normal operations cease.”

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt also visited the site at the time and agreed there was ‘little hope’ it could be saved.

He said: “I was reassured by both management and workforce that all that can be done to assist with finding other jobs is being done.

“But this is a tough time for local recruitment, reflecting the national economic slowdown, and new jobs are not coming quickly onto the market.”

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