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‘Brave’ Somerset council acquires derelict industrial sites

Two derelict industrial sites in the centre of Frome in Somerset are set for redevelopment after they were both acquired by Mendip District Council.

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 Beswicks site closed in 1999 and during WW2 produced specialist fuses for the car and aviation industries. It later became the largest manufacturer of domestic fuses.

The site also includes derelict former warehouses and part of the grade II-listed Old Silk Mill, as well as hard standing and woodland.

Cllr Harvey Siggs, leader of Mendip District Council, said: ‘We hope that this is seen as a brave move by us as a council, for too long the Saxonvale site has remained untouched.

‘We are aware that it is a complex site, but as well as the challenges there are great opportunities offered to recognise the river and the sloping nature of the site.

‘Historically there have been a number of failed attempts at redevelopment with no plans ever coming to fruition, but we believe that we are now in a good position to deliver redevelopment of this key site in Mendip.’

The council already own the adjacent Merchants Barton Car Park, which they say will increase the development opportunity on the site.

The council add that pre-construction work on the site is likely to start over the coming months.

Read more about the plans here.

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