To be honest, I have never really been a big fan of these industrial places, I just don’t find them that interesting and struggle to find the inclination start looking for interesting shots.
This place was no different really, it had been on the radar for a number of years, it was busy a few years ago, then everything went quiet. Whilst over in that neck of the woods, visiting the ‘Tame Scouser’ we decided to see what the latest state of play was with the place as there was talk it had all been demolished.
As is normal with these rumours, it was still there, but it was clear that progress was being made to remove the site to probably be replaced with two million houses which all look into each others windows. It was throwing it down as we started to wander round looking for access and getting muddier by the minute. We found our way through a fence and thought we were in, but nope, we were just into the builders compound, complete with sleeping secca, so we backed off, got back in the car and headed round to the other side of the site.
What we found seemed too good to be true, the front gates were flapping wide open in the wind, surely it was not going to be that easy, so what did we do, did we all make a team effort and head in together…did we heck like, we sent the tame scouser in first to see how long it would take him to get kicked out….he didn’t and we soon found ourselves wandering round pipe after pipe after boring pipe.
For me it didn’t really start to get interesting until we got to the ‘workshop’ side of the site which seemed to be housed in a building that was designed to look like an old aircraft hanger and as a result, this is where most of my photos here are from.
Croda Chemicals had been open for 150 years, changing hands multiple times. The site was formerly a Uniquema factory, but was then acquired by Croda in 2006. Croda is a global manufacturer of speciality and oleochemical products, which are chemicals derived from plans and animal fats. Their products are supplied to various industries; crop care, lubricant additives, oilfield, and textiles.
The site was 30 acres, with about 250,000 sq ft of warehousing, offices and laboratory accommodation. The production units processed up to 125,000 tonnes of natural oils and fats to produce fatty acids, glycerine and a range of esters.
Closed in 2009, taking 115 jobs with it. Croda’s turnover in 2008 was £45 million, with £2.1 million profit.