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Reidsteel abandons plan to move to Bournemouth Airport and will expand current Christchurch site into building formally occupied by Peeks Party Store and Monkey Madness

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A CHRISTCHURCH steel firm has dropped plans to build nearly 170 homes on its site near the town centre.

Reidsteel has instead decided to stay put at its premises in Reid Street, off Fairmile Road, which it now intends to revamp with a multi-million-pound expansion.

The company had been looking to relocate to a site at Bournemouth Airport after being given the green light by BCP Council in January last year to turn its base into a development of 167 houses.

An artist’s impression of how the Reidsteel redevelopment may look
An artist’s impression of how the Reidsteel redevelopment may look

Now it is drawing up plans to expand into the vacant area next door, which was previously home to Peeks Party Store and Monkey Madness soft play area.

Peeks, which also owned the Monkey Madness building, went into liquidation in May last year, with owners blaming the coronavirus lockdown and Brexit.

The fresh proposals include construction of the new factory and offices with access to Reid Street. The majority of existing buildings on the site would be demolished.

Simon Boyd, managing director of Reidsteel, said: “As a local business of many years’ standing, our heart is in Christchurch.

“The layout of our current site leads to inefficiencies which reduce our competitiveness, hampering our ability to grow the business.

“Redevelopment would bring multiple manufacturing processes into a single, automated production line under one roof, including steel delivery and unloading."

He added: “This would give us a safer working environment, more control and the ability to implement new technology to improve productivity.

Simon Boyd, managing director of Reidsteel
Simon Boyd, managing director of Reidsteel

“It would improve the local environment by cutting down on noisy outdoor handling operations and reducing interruptions to traffic flow on Fairmile caused by restricted access to our existing stockyard.

“The redevelopment would allow us to continue our growth trajectory and bring greater employment to the Christchurch area with more high-skilled jobs.”

Reidsteel, which employs more than 130 people and has an annual turnover of £30m, has now launched a consultation asking for views from the community and stakeholders.

It will submit a planning application to BCP Council after the consultation ends on 23rd July.

“Our exciting proposals represent a multi-million-pound investment in the town and the local economy while safeguarding the future of our business for many years to come," added Mr Boyd.

“We are keen to hear views about our scheme; they matter to us and will inform our plans moving forward.”

For more details and leave feedback, visit www.reidsteelredevelopment.com

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