Our recent project which saw the transformation of Cadbury’s former chocolate factory in Keynsham has now been converted into new homes and includes a space for the whole community to enjoy complete with a gym, pizzeria and café inside.
Officially opened in 1935, the factory was opened following the merger of Fry’s and Cadbury. Over 5,000 employees, locally known as ‘chocolate welders’, worked on-site, due to the large scale operation it also led to the rapid expansion of the local community including playing fields and a local sports hall. At its peak, there were a million Crunchie bars manufactured a day on-site!
When Cadbury’s was purchased by Kraft, in 2011, the factory was shut down shortly after. Despite being a pillar of the local area and the source of 400 jobs, production was moved to Poland and the factory-made surplus to requirements. Following this, the site was purchased by Taylor Wimpey. They undertook a project which regenerated the site into a modern living community, with the latest facilities.
B&A’S ROLE IN THE PROJECT
B&A Group initially carried out some essential work on the groundworks right at the beginning of the project. When it comes to constructing buildings, it’s crucial to have a sturdy groundwork in order for the foundation to take the full weight of the buildings. Proper groundwork is central to the success of any construction and we are proud to have played a role in this exciting project.
More recently, B&A carried out two separate visits in September and October this year and carried out the removal of 4500 m3 of Inert, 420 m3 of Hardcore, 1850 m3 Non-Hazardous to B&A Bespoke Recovery Permitted site, and 550 m3 Non-Hazardous inc. <0.1% Asbestos to Landfill – that’s a total of 860 wagon loads!
“B&A were swift at removing the waste whilst being considerate of my other site users and nearby residents” – Mel Brook – Taylor Wimpey Somerdale Site Manager
In early January 2012 a sale was agreed of the 220-acre site to Taylor Wimpey. They planned to build hundreds of new homes, a care home, some shops, a restaurant and a 210-place nursery and primary school.
CHALLENGES FACED AND HOW THEY WERE OVERCOME
We faced a number of challenges that were all overcome including issues with volumetric surveys and sourcing suitable and cost-effective disposal and recovery outlets for the waste. There was also some terrible weather which made the job a little harder.
Ensuring there was efficient operational planning to effect a smooth start with plant and wagon was essential and we kept a close commercial liaison with Taylor Wimpey to monitor ongoing costs vs. project estimates.
KEY TEAM MEMBERS
All of the tipper drivers were absolutely essential for this project. Members of the team including B&A Engineer Paul Pritchard, B&A facility staff, sweeper drivers, B&A transport team and B&A Project Manager Ben Higham were all key reasons this project was a success.
You can find out more about the newly developed houses and the converted former chocolate factory here: https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/find-your-home/england/somerset/keynsham/somerdale