Cadbury's has marked the start of a new era with a stunning new £30 million redevelopment in Bournville.
The great and the good were out in force to celebrate Cadbury’s move to the newly refurbished Bournville Place – originally the old Dining Block built by the Cadbury Brothers in the 1920s.
On hand to unveil four unique artworks commissioned to mark the occasion were Rashid Chauhdry, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Sirs Adrian and Dominic Cadbury, retiring Cadbury Chairman Sir John Sunderland and Trevor Bond, Cadbury UK managing director.
Among the pieces of art revealed to the public for the first time were Stourbridge sculptor Jo Naden’s giant bronze replica of a cocoa seed pod, an enormous glass sculpture designed to resemble a flowing stream of milk, created by Kings Heath artist Eryka Issak, Moseley-based Chris Keenan’s photographic set ‘Purple Interventions’ and Matthew Robinson’s large scale graphic design of the Cadbury factory building and surrounding area.
The commission was bolstered by funding from Arts & Business’s Reach programme, which invests in mutually beneficial partnerships between business, the arts and the public sector.
Trevor Bond, managing director of Cadbury UK said: “Today is very much about celebrating the fusion of Cadbury’s rich local heritage with our vision for the future – looking back as well as looking forward. Bournville Place is the ultimate expression of this.
“Externally it still retains the facade of the original building – itself an architectural masterpiece of the time which looks as impressive now as it did almost 100 years ago – yet within, the bright, airy spaces and cutting-edge design reflect an innovative company at the forefront of our industry.
“The artworks commissioned as part of the project echo these sentiments, picking up on elements of our heritage and giving them a fresh, modern twist. We purposely chose artists with an eclectic mix of working styles and artistic media which has enabled us to produce some visually striking pieces that fit perfectly with the look and feel of the new building.”
Over 500 staff have been moved to Bournville Place, which is set over four floors overlooking Bournville Recreation Grounds. The refurbishment project took four years to complete and has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. At the very start of the project in 2003, suppliers and contractors were selected on the strength of their green technology track record – a practice which although now commonplace was quite unusual at the time.
The building’s south facing facade together with high ceilings and large windows ensure maximum ventilation and light. Elsewhere, photocell panels installed on the roof detect the level of light in the building and dim the lights accordingly while the building has been fitted with one of the most CO2 efficient air-conditioning systems on the market.
Mr Bond added: “Cadbury is committed to being a socially responsible employer and this filters down to everything we do – from our community programme which encourages staff to get involved in local charity projects right through to ensuring the environment in which we work is as eco-friendly as possible. With Bournville Place we have set a benchmark for the future and hope to pave the way for other companies to follow.”