Former factory set to be sold off by council

Bayard Place
Bayard Place

A former factory in Peterborough which was at the centre of a troubled solar panel scheme looks set to be sold.

The city council is in negotiations to sell the former Freemans building in Ivatt Way, Westwood, after a buyer made an approach despite the site not being on the market.

The potential sale price and name of the proposed purchaser have not been released, with a council spokeswoman stating: “Negotiations are commercially sensitive and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

Freemans Grattan opened its catalogue shopping warehouse in Peterborough in 1969 and once employed 3,000 staff before closing in 2009.

Solar panels were later put on the building’s roof, but technicians were not able to make them work.

The council’s attempt to claw back £1.3 million worth of damages from installers Enterprise Managed Services Ltd was sent to arbitration in 2014.

The Peterborough Telegraph asked the council what happened at arbitration and if the solar panels had ever worked. The council had not responded at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, the authority has also published a list of assets which it is expecting to dispose of in the next three years.

The list includes The Cresset, including the theatre, which it is currently leasing to the YMCA on a 999 year tenancy.

A council spokesman said: “We are currently in discussion with the tenants of the site over its future.”

Other assets include Bayard Place in Broadway and Wellington Street, Wirrina and Dickens Street car parks.

The spokesman added: “Some of these assets may be sold to existing tenants, transferred to community groups as part of community asset transfer, or sold on the open market.

“Whilst properties may be considered for disposal this does not mean that they will be sold.”

There is also a list published by the council of ‘Properties Under Consideration for Disposal’ which includes the Peterborough United football ground.