PLANS to revamp a former factory site could signal 300 new jobs and £10million worth of investment.
The disused Kerry Foods site, next to Durham Retail Park in Durham, could be transformed into a retail and trade hub after it was bought for a seven-figure sum.
Its buyer is Andrew Ward, the managing director of corporate director of Workwear Express, who began his career 25 years ago from a lock-up opposite his new acquisition on Rennys Lane.
He started out by spending the week travelling around Sunderland and other areas of the region, selling clothes to workers on building sites and at garages then trading from a market stall at the weekends.
Now his company will add up to 40 new posts to the 90 people it already employs when it moves from the nearby Belmont Industrial Estate.
Property developer Mr Ward also wants to set up a new motor showroom, a fast food business and several trade counter units on the site, with the finished development to be called Ward Trade Park.
Work has already started on the site and is expected work will be complete by next summer.
Mr Ward, who lives in the city and bought the land through Bradley Hall chartered surveyors, said: “The site not only provides us with the space and opportunity for our company to grow but also allows me to feed my passion for property and develop what will hopefully become a vibrant business hub in the area.”
Kerry closed in 2012 with the loss of 350 jobs.
as the firm took its work elsewhere.