How to convert your industrial buildings into food manufacturing facilities

As a multi-billion-pound industry, the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector continues to go from strength to strength – and it needs modern facilities built to the highest and safest standards to do so.

The sector faces constant logistical and legislative challenges around its production manufacturing, processing and distribution systems.

Clegg Food Projects understands these needs – one of our biggest requests is to convert current industrial buildings into top-of-the-range food and drink facilities.

Business development manager Oliver Jenkins explains how our expertise and attention to detail keeps the industry on track, operating from buildings created to the highest standards…

Why do food and drink manufacturers want to convert industrial buildings?

With land in the UK at a premium and lengthy planning application delays holding things up, food and drink manufacturers can struggle to find the ideal location for new premises in the right timescale.

As a result, many in the sector are exploring the country’s current building stock to convert into bespoke facilities. But there are huge challenges in leasing buildings previously used for other industries.

What are the issues in converting industrial buildings into food and drink manufacturing facilities?

In our experience, most industrial buildings are not fit for purpose for food safety requirements that businesses in this sector need.

Food and drink manufacturing companies require innovative, product and people-safe facilities adaptable to fast-moving changes and trends that bring continual launches of new products and lines.

For example buildings might have floors that can not bear the weight of the machinery or refrigeration required, or the power or drainage requirements can not be met. There are many challenges in converting the premises, including internal demolition. Conversely, we have also assisted in restoring buildings to their previous use when a company’s lease has expired.

How do you convert an industrial building into a bespoke food and drink manufacturing facility?

Successful food and drink sites have several important requirements but are connected by similar needs. They must be clean and safe, well-ventilated, fire-rated and have ultra-hygienic building fabric finishes and processes, such as white-walling installations to comply with food hygiene regulations.

They also need a carefully thought-out flow of processes to ensure the best efficiencies. Other requirements include temperature-controlled environments, smart power and utilities, industrial ventilation systems and effective drainage and cleaning systems.

Fresh pasta company Pasta Evangelists asked us to convert a former Jack Wills head office and warehouse into a high-care food manufacturing facility in London to support booming demand. We built an innovative new factory with state-of-the-art equipment inside the existing building.

Pasta evangelists

How do you liaise with food and drink manufacturing clients to convert their buildings?

We are skilled at assessing the needs of each building and finding solutions to technical and challenging issues to each conversion or expansion, often working on live sites to minimise disruption.

We have worked on many projects where we have converted an existing shell of a building into a bespoke food and drink manufacturing facility.

Camden Town Brewery asked us to support its brewery relocation from Camden Town to a site in Enfield. We modified and upgraded the new site ready for the equipment installation, offering support and technical input and working closely with the design team.

Camden town brewery

We completed a gluten-free bakery for Newly Weds Foods in Banbury, converting an existing ingredients warehouse on a live, operating site. We handled all the construction and building services installations.

A successful conversion was also completed at a new chocolate factory in Suffolk that had once been used to make baby bottles. Malaysian-owned cocoa manufacturer Guan Chong Berhad (GCB) appointed us to part-demolish and construct a new factory to enhance its processing and manufacturing facilities.

Why should food manufacturing facilities choose Clegg Food Projects for conversion projects?

We are experts in extending or modifying existing food and beverage processing plants for current and future demand. We use the same considerations in adapting industrial buildings that apply to creating new buildings.

We can assist with the due diligence needed in selecting sites, considering the cost and timescale implications of converting a building from a construction perspective.

Our in-depth manufacturing and food and drink knowledge sets us apart from other construction companies – we understand the legislation and compliance challenges businesses face.

At Clegg Food Projects, we work closely with our clients to develop the most effective and efficient construction process, incorporating a low carbon approach at every stage.

Talk to our experts today

As a market-leading construction company that works with some of the biggest names in the business, Clegg Food Projects brings more than 40 years of expertise to a wide range of food factory projects.

As the food and drink manufacturing sector faces huge and exciting changes ahead, let our talented team guide your next ambitious project and help you achieve your goals.

Email us at or call us on 0115 841 3121.