Up to 1,500 people could find a home on iconic former factory site in York

John Sutcliffe, chief executive, Henry Boot
John Sutcliffe, chief executive, Henry Boot
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UP to 1,500 people could be living around the site of an iconic Yorkshire chocolate factory by 2020, as the listed building becomes the heart of a major regeneration project.

Henry Boot, which is reviving the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory site in York, has delivered a large rise in full year profits, despite the “macroeconomic concerns” that followed the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

John Sutcliffe, the property investment and development company’s chief executive, said it had been “business as usual” since the referendum vote in favour of Brexit.

The 27 acre former Terry’s Chocolate Factory site in York was acquired by Henry Boot in April 2013 in partnership with David Wilson Homes.

In a statement to accompany its annual results, Henry Boot said that the conversion of the Terry’s chocolate factory into 165 apartments is progressing well.

The company concluded 89 sales in the second half of the year and expects to complete this phase of the Terry’s scheme in 2017.

Mr Sutcliffe said: “It’s an iconic building. It’s been a great project and we are very proud of it.”

The art deco factory, commissioned by Noel and Frank Terry, was opened in 1926. Terry’s All Gold and the Chocolate Orange were developed and produced on the site, which is close to York Racecourse. The factory closed in 2005.

Mr Sutcliffe said he was delighted that the former factory was being turned into a vibrant community. It’s estimated that around 1,200 to 1,500 people could be living on the site by 2020.

Sheffield-based Henry Boot is involved in schemes across Yorkshire. Following the completion of the £35m Fox Valley retail park at Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire, the company has started work on phase one of the £35m Barnsley town centre regeneration scheme.

Henry Boot is also delivering a new spa facility at Rudding Park Hotel, near Harrogate, which will be completed in the first half of 2017.

Within the civil engineering sector, the company started work on the Olympic Legacy Park and the Advanced Manufacturing Park, for the University of Sheffield, a multi-storey car park for B. Braun in Sheffield, and it continues to be a major supply chain partner on the 25-year, Amey PFI Sheffield Highway Scheme. The company is working with Stonebridge Projects to deliver infrastructure works on schemes in Leeds and Stocksbridge, and it is refurbishing the former Leeds Girls High School site for residential use.

During 2016, Henry Boot’s revenue increased by 74 per cent to £306.8m and its profit before tax rose by 22 per cent to £39.5m.

Jamie Boot, the company’s chairman said: “2017 has started in line with our expectations and the year ahead will see us actively work on over 10 commercial development schemes, some of which will take us through to 2019 and 2020. Our strategic land business has a record volume of sites and these sites are further forward in planning terms than ever before.”

HENRY Boot delivered a strong set of full-year results, according to analysts at Investec.

In a note, Investec said: “During the year, the strategic land pipeline grew and visibility has never been higher for the group. Faster than- expected sales at York and progress with ground works of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre produced strong operating profit of £15.1m”

“Although the group remains cautious as a result of Brexit, house builders continue to show an interest in high quality sites. 2017 has started well, with 850 plots exchanged for sale and a further 290 plots exchanged with completion subject to consent, we expect around 2,000 plots for the full year.”

Henry Boot, which dates from 1886, has been involved in many high profile projects. In 1936, the company was involved in the design and contruction of Pinewood Studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire.