Eyesore building to be demolished

Greatham Parish Councillor Mike McKie at the former Cerebos factory site, Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID
Greatham Parish Councillor Mike McKie at the former Cerebos factory site, Greatham. Picture by FRANK REID

AN eyesore building that has become a target for vandals is set to be demolished after a breakthrough with the owners.

The former Cerebos food factory, in Greatham, which was one of the area’s major employers, is due to be razed to the ground after falling into a state of disrepair.

Since it closed in 2001, the site has become a hot-spot for trespassers and vandals who left the site in a dangerous state with several open drops.

Police and parish councillors had warned young people to stay away.

In the summer, Hartlepool Borough Council approached owners The Helping Foundation to offer help to improve the 30-acre site

The owners have now appointed a contractor which is in the process of clearing the site.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said in his latest Hartlepool Mail column how the owners decided to demolish the building after realising it could not be developed.

A council spokesman said: “We have been aware of the condition of the Cerebos/Sharwoods site for some time and in July actively approached the owner to offer assistance to improve the site.

“However, The Helping Foundation has now appointed a contractor and is in the process of clearing the site at our request.

“We are pleased that The Helping Foundation is taking a pro-active approach to what has been a blot on the landscape and we will continue to work with the charity to clear the site.”

Greatham parish councillor Mike McKie, who has worked to get the site secured, said: “I am over the moon.

“Because of the damage that has been done to the site, there was no possibility of the owners using any part of it.

“It will be a shame to see the building go but it will be a joy to see the death trap it had become gone.”

Brian Walker, chairman of Greatham Parish Council, added: “Obviously, it’s sad to see what was such a locally important site fall into the state it has but I can’t really see any other option.”

Cerebos first opened a factory on the site in 1906 and employed hundreds of people over the years.

In the 1970s, it was taken over by RHM and made cereals, soup and soft drinks.

In 1997, Sharwoods bought the site and made chutneys until it closed in 2001.

The owners could not be contacted for comment.