Send us news, start your message Cheshire News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Thor Specialities (UK) Ltd propose to turn Victoria Stadium site into packing centre
THE owners of Northwich Victoria’s now former home ground want to convert it into a place to package its products.
Thor Specialities (UK) Ltd, who paid £600,000 in January for the plot on which the Victoria Stadium is built, presented its plan to members of Wincham Parish Council this week.
Managing director David Hewitt said the chemicals manufacturer would spend £11million over the next three years redeveloping the land.
He proposes to employ a further 50 people at the firm, based next door to the ground on Wincham Avenue.
“We have a unique opportunity,” he said.
“There have been changes in the supply of raw materials, which we will be able to take advantage of.
“I have stated before that we don’t want to demolish it unless we really have to.”Thor Specialities (UK) Ltd managing director David Hewitt
“What’s become very apparent recently is everyone now knows we are in the village, but nobody knows what we do.
“I think we’re a very special organisation that employs some fantastic people.”
Thor completed a deal to buy the nine-acres site after receivers Deloitte Touche, acting on behalf of Clydesdale Bank, accepted its offer.
Deloitte seized the asset in October 2008 from former landlord Beaconet, a company owned by former Vics chairman Mike Connett, in an attempt to recover debts running into seven figures.
After failing to find a buyer at the initial asking price of £1.2m, the bank wrote off half of what it was owed in its final agreement with Thor.
Mr Hewitt’s firm hopes to submit a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council shortly for a packaging and logistics centre.
If councillors on the authority’s planning committee agree, then construction could start before the end of the year.
He told members at Wincham that his commitment to donate the Victoria Stadium’s assets to the community remained unchanged.
“I have stated before that we don’t want to demolish it unless we really have to,” he said.
“What we are still looking to do is keep the stadium for the community, which continues to be something we are exploring.”
The stadium, opened in 2006 following Vics’ relocation from the Drill Field via a ground share at neighbours Witton Albion’s Wincham Park, hosted its last match at the end of January.
Thor offered the club a lease to stay there until the season’s climax, but owner Jim Rushe declined to sign it.
He said that its terms, which included a clause preventing him from campaigning against Thor’s future plans for the site, were too restrictive.
Mr Hewitt then said in February that he envisaged no further opportunity to talk again to the club.