Express & Star

Plans to convert rest of Wolverhampton's former Sunbeam factory into flats approved

Plans to turn the rest of the former Sunbeam factory in Wolverhampton into more than 170 flats have been approved by councillors.

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Councillor Simkins with Robbie Hubball and Richie Hubball from Paragon

The site where the famous motorcycles were made, has already been partially converted into apartments before the project stalled.

The future of the factory, off the Penn Road island, was plunged into doubt in 2018 when developers QED went into administration.

But it led to the site being snapped up for £7.5 million by city-based social and public sector housing specialists Paragon Living Space.

And now the developer's plans to convert the rest of the building into 171 apartments have been backed by Wolverhampton Council chiefs.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, deputy leader and cabinet member for city economy, said: "The Sunbeam development is one of a number of exciting new city centre living developments in Wolverhampton.

"We are working hard with developers to help bring forward schemes like this as we look to repurpose our city centre to add vibrancy and increase footfall.

The factory in its heyday

"It provides much-needed quality homes to help meet the increasing demand for housing and – with the recent announcement of major ‘Levelling Up’ funding for Wolverhampton – we will be pushing for more schemes of this nature.

"It is also great to see that Paragon Living Space also employ a number of Wolverhampton employees – and through local supply chains support the Wolverhampton Pound."

The development will result in 129 one-bed flats, 33 two-bed, seven three-bed and two four-bed homes. It will include a central courtyard, gym, health bar, meeting rooms, 24-hour concierge alongside 112 parking spaces – including for electric vehicles.

Robbie Hubball, Paragon Living Space's CEO/director, said: "We are extremely proud to bring this development forward for the city. It will be a market leading built to rent product for Wolverhampton with high quality living for the residents.

"We are a local developer who pledge to invest heavily in the Wolverhampton market. The efficiency of everyone at the council has really helped bring the development forward."

From the late 1800s, most of Sunbeam’s bicycle, motorcycle, and some motor car production was carried out at the site. Perhaps most notably, Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird Sunbeam car, which set a world speed record in 1924, was produced at the site.

When production was switched a to a factory in Fallings Park in the 1950s, the lockmakers C E Marshall occupied the site.

A Sunbeam S8 motorcycle from 1952 hangs from the ceiling as you go through the main entrance.

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