Release Date - 11/26/2007

Historic Industrial Site for Sale as Pigments Company Closes in Re-structure

AN HISTORIC industrial site in Hull is to be sold for redevelopment following the closure of the world’s leading manufacturer of ultramarine pigments’ UK base.

The 11-acre site at Morley Street, Hull, is being offered for sale by property consultants, King Sturge and Dove Haigh Philips after the closure of Holliday Pigments’ UK production facility at the end of September, as part of a restructuring by parent company Yule Catto & Co PLC.

The site, which is a mile north of Hull city centre and bounded by the railway line and the River Hull, has been used for ultramarine production by Holliday Pigments, and its forerunners, since 1884.

Holliday Pigments is widely recognised as a leading global supplier of ultramarine blue pigments but declining profitability due to low-cost competition has led Yule Catto to transfer all manufacture to Holliday Pigments’ site in Comines, northern France. Seventy of the 80 affected staff so far, have been successful in finding employment elsewhere.

Decommissioning of the site is expected to last until the end of the year when it will be sold with vacant possession. Offers are invited by December 14 with an exchange of contracts by March 1 2008 and completion by the end of that month.

The site includes 179,000 sq ft of commercial buildings including several manufacturing bases with specialist chemical extraction plants, warehouses, offices, a boiler house and a chimney which is the tallest structure of its kind in Hull.
Ultramarine occupies a unique place among colours and, until the early 19th century, when the first synthetic ultramarine was developed, its only source was the rare and expensive semi-precious mineral, lapis lazuli, which was reserved for use in artworks of great importance such as the funeral mask of Tutankhamen and the decoration of the Taj Mahal.

Holliday Pigments’ ultramarine pigments have been exported to more than 80 countries and are used in a variety of applications including plastics, coatings, cosmetics, artists’ colours and printing inks.

A partner in the industrial team at the Leeds office of King Sturge, Richard Harris, says: “The regrettable closure of Holliday Pigments’ UK site is creating an opportunity to acquire a sizeable site which has good links to Hull city centre and represents a unique part of Yorkshire’s industrial history.

“This is a major employment location and Hull City Council has indicated that, in principle, it will support its redevelopment for light, or general, industrial or warehousing and distribution uses.”

Press contact: Mike Clarke, Mike Clarke Communications, tel: (01423) 568847.