THE former Unilever Warrington factory has been put up for sale.

Commercial real estate agent CBRE has brought the 6.72 acre site, which closed in October after more than 130 years, to the market.

Its listing states that the freehold is available for a ‘development opportunity’, subject to planning permission being obtained.

Warrington Guardian:

For sale signs have gone up at the factory

Around 125 workers were employed at the historic Crosfields site, where Unilever’s Persil and Surf washing powders were made, before its closure.

The manufacturing giant pointed to a ‘sustained and irreversible decline in demand’ in these products as its reason for closing the Bank Quay site, which is shared with PQ Corporation.

Warrington Guardian:

Sales of washing powder have fallen by 15 per cent in recent years, with customers increasingly using liquids and capsules for their laundry and the production line running at less than half of its capacity.

Unilever announced that it would move most of its manufacturing to a partner in Europe upon the plant’s closure, with smaller volumes to be moved to its other factories in the UK.

The GMB union described the move as a 'hammer blow for the town'.

Warrington Guardian:

Lever Brothers was first founded in Warrington 136 in 1884, but the town’s soap-making history dates as far back as the 1750s through firms such as Joseph Crosfield and Sons – which opened a small works at Bank Quay in 1814.

The site rapidly grew over the next century, with the upstart Lever Brothers eventually buying out its neighbours in 1919.