Jobs hope after King’s Lynn businessman buys Berol site

Anthony Skerry outside the former Berol House building on Oldmedow Road.
Anthony Skerry outside the former Berol House building on Oldmedow Road.
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New jobs and businesses are set to be created with the transformation of a former factory site on Lynn’s Hardwick Industrial Estate.

Well-known Lynn businessman, Anthony Skerry, director of motor sales business, Stebbings, has purchased a five-acre site on Oldmedow Road, which includes Berol House, once the home of Berol pen manufacturers Sanford UK, and a major employer in the town for 40 years.

Now with plans being drawn up to regenerate the site with potential multiple uses, it is hoped the development will bring new jobs and boost the town’s economy.

Said Mr Skerry: “This is an exciting new location next to Sainsbury’s for business development. It will bring forward trade counters, workshops, industrial units, a potential gym and car and commercial sales. It will also bring jobs to the area and it’s good news for the local economy and for businesses.”

He said that he felt that now was a good time to make his investment. “We are moving out of the recession and the property market is beginning to pick up again.

“This area of Lynn at Hardwick has become a hub and all the investment that has taken place there has put it on the map.

“At present we are working on drawing up plans and, hopefully, planners will like what we are doing.”

If the scheme goes ahead, some of the buildings are earmarked for demolition on the site, which has stood empty for a long period of time, although one of the buildings have been used for general storage in the past.

Sanford UK closed its two factories on Oldmedow Road with the loss of 230 jobs back in 2003 as it announced it was relocating to Sussex. One of these, formerly known as Venus House, was bought in 2005 by Cambridge-based developers Dencora and turned into units for individual businesses. Later known as Venus Court, they were sold two years later to Norwich-based Valad Property Group.

In 2009 Newlyn Developments submitted plans for a £10 million development of the Berol House site to create new industrial units and office buildings.

At the time it was anticipated there could be up to 320 new jobs created. However, 
the development did not go ahead.