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Reader letter: Carrow factory site could give opportunities

PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 October 2017

A view of the entrance at the Unilever and Robinsons squash owner Britvic site in, Carrow, Norwich. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A view of the entrance at the Unilever and Robinsons squash owner Britvic site in, Carrow, Norwich. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

With Britvic leaving the Norwich site it shares with Unilever, it seems unlikely that Unilever would want to continue in Norwich while bearing the full infrastructure costs of the large site.

Both companies have acknowledged the history and importance of the Carrow site to the people of Norfolk and, I am sure, would want to leave a significant and lasting legacy in the city.

While recognising the immediate and serious concerns for employment your campaign should, perhaps, focus on the wider and longer term development opportunities the current situation provides.

With their legacy in mind both Britvic and Unilever could possibly (probably?) be persuaded to donate the site, and funds, for the benefit of Norfolk.

READ MORE: Colman’s petition almost at 10,000 names: Have you signed yet?

Developments on site could then include an Industrial Heritage Museum, sited in the old mustard mill and showcasing manufacturing in Norwich (for example Colmans, Robinsons, Boulton & Paul, LS&E, Caleys/Rowntree/Mackintosh etc) and the significant links to agriculture in East Anglia.

With real ambition it may even be possible to build the ‘Robinsons Velodrome’ and the ‘Colman Concert Hall’!

The large and diverse site could also provide options for progressing previously discussed projects such as a marina and a new railway station at Trowse. The buildings could be used for a school, an extension of UEA, or affordable housing?

These developments could create a significant number of jobs, albeit in non-manufacturing, and enhance the cultural attraction of the city to locals and tourists.

I do not advocate the creation of more “retail” on site, although a few riverside cafes and restaurants would be very acceptable as projects develop.

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