Posted: Tue 28th Jan 2020

Enterprise group vows to carry on fight to restore John Summers building despite administrators putting site up for sale

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 28th, 2020

A community-based group has vowed to continue with an ambitious project to bring the former John Summers Steelworks headquarters building back to its former glory despite administrators putting site up for sale.  

Deeside based Enbarr Foundation says it has a “vision” to restore the Grade II-listed building to its former glory, developing it into a community hub.

The striking landmark on the banks of the River Dee has been classed as one of the most endangered buildings in the UK, it has been subject to regular break-ins and vandalism since it was vacated in 2009.

Developer Pochin paid £5m for 200 acres of surplus land at the steelworks in June 2010, including the general office and other buildings.

The developer gave Enbarr permission to start securing and developing site for the community and offered the building on a peppercorn rent and 250 year lease.

Pochin collapsed last August owning millions to creditors.

In a bid to recoup some of those losses, administrators have put 13.5 acres of land up for sale, which includes all the buildings on the former headquarters site.

 

[13.5acre site outlined in red – it includes 80,617 sq ft of various buildings including the John Summers HQ]

Marketed by BidX1 the site will go up for auction on February 18th with a guide price of just £50,000.

Vicki Roskams, from Enbarr, said she felt administrators have not been helpful “since day one” in understanding the aims for the project, “but we are forever being optimistic and meeting their demands, and this is yet another one.”

“We do appreciate that the Administrators in their own words say ‘They have to exhaust all potential avenues for the creditors’ and they have a job to do.”

Vicki said the foundation has offered money to secure the site it “as we feel passionately about this project and the local community, and our offer was turned down.”

Enbarr has been working with key organisations and businesses gaining support and pledges for the restoration project.

Vicki said, “We have organisations and grants awaiting the go ahead, so we are thankful that this situation will bring this to a head, and we can move forwards instead of being in Limbo which we have been for the past 6 months.”

“The Foundation is working 24/7 in collaboration with partners to make this vision a reality, and will continue to do this.”

The selling agents marketing brochure states the land has “development potential, subject to consents” and that the site contains a number of derelict buildings totalling 80,617 sq ft.

The headquarters building is Grade II-listed, CADW – the Welsh Government historic environment service – confirmed last week that gardens are set to receive Grade II listed status.

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