Food factory goes on sale for £2m

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A FOOD factory which closed in May with the loss of dozens of jobs has gone on the market with a £2m price tag.

It is hoped the former Exotic Farm Produce site in Kirton will be snapped up by another food supplier, as it is located in a major food-growing area with a reliable workforce available locally.

Chartered surveyors Brown and Co, who are offering the Bakkavor-owned 13,000 sq ft site for sale jointly with Savills, say substantial interest has already been shown.

The buildings, set in 9.6 acreas, include an internal coldstore and eight loading docks.

As well as being offered for sale, the site is also available to let.

Tim Humphrey, of Brown and Co, said: “We have shown a number of interested parties around – some local and others from further afield.

“Although the closure was a disappointment for the local community, both the site and locality offer a number of benefits from potential occupiers.

“For an employer, Kirton and the surrounding area offer a reliable workforce and has a relatively low cost base.

“It also gives prospective occupiers, chance to be close to the where their raw materials are grown and offers synergies with the existing agricultural and horticultural-based businesses in the area.”

Bakkavor, which bought the site in August 2007, announced the factory closure in May. The factory handled peas, beans and exotic vegetables.

It blamed the closure on an unsustainable mix of falling sales and higher costs.

As well as the Exotic Farm Produce site, Brown and Co is also offering the former Bakkavor Utopia site at Gosberton for let.

The 60,000 sq ft, nine acre site is leased by Bakkavor from a local developer. The firm’s lease is £165,500 a year and runs until 2020, meaning the site is for let by way of sub-lease as Bakkavor no longer have any use for it.

Sam Smith, of Brown and Co, said: “Although Utopia didn’t end up being there particularly long before trading ceased, they made significant improvements, so it’s in good condition for an empty building.”

The property has a test kitchen and would be suitable for other manufacturing and warehousing uses.