User Rating: 1 / 5

Star ActiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Candy-Hoover, the owners of the former Hoover manufacturing site in Merthyr, which ceased production last year, are in discussions with a number of property development companies over a land sale.

Italian-owned Candy Hoover, closed its non-profit-making manufacturing facility at the 40-acre site with the loss more than 300 jobs last spring.

However, there remains a warehouse and after-sales and corporate HQ operations employing around 130.

It is understood that Candy Hoover are looking to get £15-20m for the land.

It is in talks with a number of developers, including Cardiff-based Atlantic Properties, chaired by Merthyr-born entrepreneur and chairman of rugby region the Cardiff Blues, Peter Thomas.

The numerous proposals are for a mixed development on the site, which as well as business units would include housing and retail.

Any deal could see all three, or part of, the remaining Hoover activities retaining a presence on a new mixed scheme.

The current warehouse facility, which extends to 250,000 sq ft, is at the one end of the site.

If it remained it would reduce the amount of land for sale to any developer by around 12 acres.

However, Candy Hoover could opt to establish a warehouse and distribution facility closer to where its parts are shipped into the UK at Dover.

In that case Hoover could opt to keep its after-sales and corporate HQ at the site "“ housed in a new 25,000 sq ft office facility.

If Hoover was to remain on site it would provide a rental revenue for any developer. Based on a modest rent of £6 per sq ft it would produce an annual rental income of £125,000.

However, to make any scheme commercially viable it would require a significant housing and retailing element.

As part of its numerous options Hoover could also opt to sell off the land and locate its HQ and after-sales operations at another site in Merthyr.

Yesterday senior executive at the Merthyr plant David Lunt said: "We have not formally marketed the site, but have been contacted by a number of interested property developers, of which Atlantic Properties is one.

"Clearly there is a huge gap where we once had manufacturing and the company's shareholders are interested in maximising the value of the site.

"There are strong arguments for keeping all three existing elements on site and equally against.

"There is a lot of finance to be done: which is how much we can sell the site for."

Mr Lunt said that no time frame had been set for concluding any land deal.

1000 Characters left