Work to convert Wolverhampton's former Sunbeam factory into flats could restart after building bought

Work to transform the rest of the former Sunbeam factory in Wolverhampton into flats could restart after the building was bought for £7.5 million.

The former Sunbeam factory has been partially converted
The former Sunbeam factory has been partially converted

The site, where the famous motorcycles were made, is situated just off the Penn Road island and has already been partially converted into apartments.

But the future of the landmark was plunged into doubt three years ago with the project grinding to a halt when developers QED went into administration.

It left only 35 out of 117 flats completed, with the administrators teaming up with commercial property experts in 2019 in a bid to help find a new developer.

And now work could potentially resume on the site after it was snapped up by city-based social and public sector housing specialists Paragon Living Space.

The organisation said it was now looking to "reassess" the planning application – which has been approved – with Wolverhampton Council to ensure it is viable.

The project ground to a halt three years ago
The project ground to a halt three years ago
The project ground to a halt three years ago

Robbie Hubball, from Paragon, said: "We’re excited that we’ve been able purchase this site which is iconic and has been stalled for so long. There are already some great properties completed in the site and we’re looking forward to updating the plans and creating a real community for the area."

Commercial real estate specialists Colliers sold the site on behalf of administrators at Quantuma and Receivers at FRP Advisory. The approved development also has a central courtyard, landscaped community hub and games room for residents, alongside 112 parking spaces.

Simon Campbell, managing director of Quantuma, said: "We were never in doubt that a new developer could be found to take on this project. We’re pleased that soon the uncertainty of the past few years will be resolved for those already living on site."

Nick Hammond, head of advisory and restructuring at Colliers, added: “It’s great that the rejuvenation of this building can now get back underway after what has been a challenging period in its impressive history. Paragon has a strong interest in making the site work for the existing and future residents and I wish them luck in their endeavours.”

Peter Fenwick & Co, specialist insolvency surveyors, provided the initial exit options and marketing strategy recommendation while Lambert Smith Hampton advised Paragon Living Space on the acquisition.

Richard Durkin, director at Lambert Smith Hampton, commented: "The acquisition represents a very exciting moment for the city of Wolverhampton; having spent considerable time at the property and looking at Paragon’s plans to complete the development I am convinced that it offers an amazing opportunity to create a significant number of good quality contemporary homes which benefit from unrivalled outdoor space offered by the central courtyard.”

The 150,000sq ft building had stood derelict for two decades before it was bought by property developer Liam Wordley from regeneration company Urban Splash in 2013. Work got under way "immediately" after planning permission was granted by Wolverhampton Council for the apartments a year later.

The project hit financial difficulties in 2018, with administrators looking for someone to take on the development a year later.

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