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Sunbeam to rise again

Thursday, 15th June, 2017 9:24am

The iconic former Sunbeam factory in Blackpool has recently gone sale agreed, the Cork Independent has learned.

The site was a workplace to generations of Corkonians but was devastated by a major fire in 2003, which caused millions of euros of damage and caused the closure of the Refond textile factory.

The sale will help the regeneration of Blackpool, which has seen a number of large companies base themselves the area in recent few years.

It is understood that a successful Cork business is behind the proposed purchase.

Blackpool-based Fianna Fáil councillor Kenneth O'Flynn said he was “delighted” to hear about the deal. “Hopefully there will be work there soon,” he said.

He said it was great encouragement for Cork City Council to redevelop Blackpool. “If Cork City Council have any scintilla of a brain, they will see Blackpool is the place to start the re-development of the city. There's lots of potential and possibility.”

He also called on private investors to get involved in Blackpool as a great place to invest. He warned that commitments are needed from politicians to re-develop the N20 and the North Ring Road to ensure the progress of Blackpool.

Peter O'Meara of Savills confirmed that the sale of the large site in Blackpool, adjacent to the N20, has been agreed.

The 4.3 acre site of cleared, brownfield development land was put up for sale with Savills in February at a guide price of €1.8m.

“We've ended with a great result with a very good price agreed,” he said. “It's great news for the area too.”

“There was good interest in the site but it was a small enough field of about three or four people,” he added.

While he wasn't at liberty to divulge the company who have gone sale agreed on the site, which is adjacent to Blackpool Retail Park, he did say that it was a company with a presence in Cork.

He also said that Savills are doing “an awful lot of development deals, although funding is till difficult to find unless sites have planning permission”.

Mr O'Meara also said that there is good activity in Cork and he expects a number of large development sites owned by funds to come on the market in the next few months.

The former Sunbeam factory site deal means large-scale employment may return to the site. The former Sunbeam textile factory was officially opened there in 1933.

In a high profile deal last year, cloud-based business management applications company Cork company Teamwork leased 16,000 sq ft of refurbished offices at Park House, adjacent to Blackpool Retail Park. The company spent considerable time and money fitting out the offices.

Xanadu Consultancy and Blizzard Entertainment are among the other large employers in the area.

 

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