Kodak plant in Kirkby

Sale of Kodak’s Kirkby plant sparks developer interest

Kodak has sold its 37-acre chemicals manufacturing site in Kirkby Industrial Estate to a partnership of Acorn Developments and Industrial Process Plants for an undisclosed sum.

The move is part of Kodak's switchover to digital images and frees up the Knowsley plant for development potential. The A580 East Lancashire Road site also includes 500,000 sq ft of accommodation and the entire production plant and equipment, which is available for reuse.

Sold with the Kodak assets were Eastman Chemical's European technical sales support centre and Ames Goldsmith's European production facility.

IPP and Acorn have rebranded the site Image Business Park and agreed a new 250-year ground lease with Knowsley council.

Tom Nash, of Acorn Developments, said: "We are considering a number of approaches from potential occupiers and are also in discussions over a possible joint venture for the estate as a whole. We have had a lot of help and support from the council, keen to see reinvestment and job creation."

Alastair Newman, partner at King Sturge, who advised Kodak and has been retained on the project, said there was operator interest in the toner plant, the solvent and waste recovery plant, as well as 150,000 sq ft of warehousing space and 10 acres of undeveloped land.

He added: "This is a highly prominent location with B1, B2 and B8 uses, offering very flexible terms. Industrial accommodation is available from 3,500 sq ft to 60,000 sq ft, while offices range from 500 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft."

Knight Frank advised Acorn. Legal support was provided by DLA Piper for Kodak and Cobbetts for Acorn. Environmental consultancy was provided by Conestoga Rovers Associates and WSP Environmental.

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