American food giant Kraft sparked fresh outrage today by selling the site of an historic Cadbury factory it vowed not to close – for £50million.
The Somerdale site in Keynsham, near Bristol, was closed within days of Kraft’s £11.7billion takeover of Cadbury in 2009, despite pledges it would be saved.
Now the company has put 64 acres of land on the market with outline proposals to build 600 homes on the site.
The move comes days after Kraft’s CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, refused to appear before a committee of MPs at Westminster to explain her actions during the takeover.
Today former Cadbury workers hit out at the firm’s ”broken promises” and demanded Ms Rosenfeld apologise to sacked British staff.
Vince Frankcom, 51, was made redundant from the Somerdale plant last year after 11 years as a ”maker” on the production line.
Mr Frankcom, now a self-employed property maintenance worker, said: ”There is a lot of anger here at the broken promises from Kraft.
”This was a very famous factory – me and my family had worked there for years – and it was a fantastic company to work for.
”It’s now upsetting to see the factory sold – a lot of us feel let down. I feel sorry for the younger generation.
”Irene Rosenfeld should be made to apologise.
”Kraft should now put some money into industry on the site – at least that would give something back to the community.”
The former Cadbury factory site was officially put up for sale on Saturday.
Kraft is selling off 64 acres – roughly the size of 40 football pitches – of the 220 acre site, which is the only part described as ”developable”.
The acres earmarked for development include the former factory buildings and car park and some fields.
The other 156 acres have been ruled out as they are liable to flooding.
Just a handful of the 400 people who were working at Somerdale are still on the site and are in the process of dismantling the factory machinery and cleaning up the building.
The last Curly Wurly rolled off the production line at the beginning of January and production has been moved from Keynsham to Poland.
Developers are being asked to bid for the freehold of the site and have until May 12 to make an offer.
The Cadbury Fry Club, for past and present workers, is to relocated to another part of the site.
The club, which has more than 600 members along with 13 football pitches, four cricket pitches and a nine-hole golf course, is expected to be rebuilt within four years.
BNP Paribas Real Estate, which is selling the land on behalf of Kraft, said the deadline for offers is midday on May 11.
Andrew Taylor, a director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: ”We have been working with Cadbury and Kraft Foods for a number of years to identify development opportunities for the site.
”The site represents a unique opportunity for a mixed-use scheme that which could contribute massively to the local demand for housing and generate significant job opportunities.”