The former site of the prolific printworks Butler, Tanner & Dennis, which printed one of the first Penguin books in 1935, is being transformed into contemporary new homes as The Old Printworks by Acorn Property Group in Frome, Somerset. The £45m (GDV) development will provide 157 modern homes set in landscaped grounds, just 30 minutes’ drive to the city of Bath.
The Old Printworks is by housebuilder Acorn Property Group working in conjunction with London & County, with the first homes now released for sale and the developers reporting a high level of buyer enquiries. There is a mixture of two-bedroom houses, a two-bedroom coach house, and three- and four-bedroom houses offering something for everyone and first homes will be complete in Winter 2020.
Located off Caxton Road along the banks of the River Frome, The Old Printworks offers high-quality contemporary homes, with over 1.5 acres of green open space across the scheme, a children’s play area for residents and a new footpath down to the riverbanks.
Founded by W.T Butler and Joseph Tanner, the Butler & Tanner printworks operated for 165 years, delivering print services including large-format sheet-fed presses for Heidelberg and digital print kits for Kodak. Working with Penguin Books Ltd when the first ten paperbacks were launched to print, in October 1935 the third impressions printed of Ariel by André Maurois, a biography of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Madame Claire by Susan Ertz. Other notable books printed include The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and an edition of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Butler & Tanner originally moved to the Frome site in 1907, with the huge ‘Dreadnought’ printing machine running from 1910 and the first four-colour Roland press installed in 1987 for colour printing. The firm was then purchased by Dennis Publishing, becoming Butler, Tanner & Dennis in 2007, before closing in 2014, leaving the large site in Frome open for redevelopment.
Working with pad Design, Acorn is creating a new community with sleek modern architecture and sustainable credentials on an 11.3-acre site. Providing a collection of 2, 3- and 4-bedroom homes, the architecture is inspired by the site’s history, with the brick façades matching the local stone and every home having large windows for natural light.
Every home at The Old Printworks will showcase high-quality open-plan design, with a contemporary kitchen by Stormer, fully integrated appliances, Caesarstone worktops and sleek bathrooms with porcelain floor and wall tiling. For buyers who reserve their property early, there is the opportunity to tailor aspects of their new home, including the kitchen units and tile colour (subject to construction stage). For working from home, there is Openreach fibre-optic broadband connection available.
Every home at The Old Printworks has been designed with sustainability in mind, using timber frame construction and eco stock bricks, with triple glazing for insulation, energy saving appliances and lighting throughout and sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDs). There are communal electric charging points in the car park. To support local ecology, there will be 12 bat houses, 10 bird boxes and specialist bee bricks across the build.
Frome is an award-winning town, having been named the Best Place to Live in the South West (Sunday Times, 2018). Residents are a 30-minute drive from the centre of Bath and less than an hour’s drive from Bristol. The town is excellently located for enjoying local culture, with the Frome market popular for enjoying fresh produce and the annual Frome Festival celebrating the arts. Residents of The Old Printworks can enjoy music, arts, theatre and festivals year-round, with the town centre a 15-minute walk away. The development is a short walk from Frome Train Station for rail connection across Somerset and towards London and Cardiff.
Robin Squire, Regional Managing Director of Acorn’s Bristol office said, “The Old Printworks is the transformation of a renowned printers the former Butler, Tanner and Dennis. We are delighted to be breathing new life into this site, delivering bespoke high-quality homes which will provide a unique addition to Frome, for a new community to enjoy.”
Simon Blair, Managing Director of London & County added, “Frome has been named as one the best places to live in the South West and has a rich, diverse local community. The Old Printworks will provide stylish homes in a central location, allowing residents to enjoy the amazing culture on their doorstep. There are many schools within easy reach of the development, making The Old Printworks a prime opportunity for young and growing families.”
First homes have been released at The Old Printworks, with prices starting from £275,000 for a 2 bedroom coach house, from £305,000 for a 3 bedroom semi-detached house and from £400,000 for a 4 bedroom townhouse. Marketing Suite and Show Home will be launching in early October, please contact to book your appointment. For further information, please contact Acorn Property Group on 01373 888 333 or visit visit: www.acornpropertygroup.org.