Changes to Bognor Regis’ Lec site recorded for future

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CHANGES to the biggest factory Bognor Regis has known are set to be recorded.

Work to demolish the Lec Refrigeration manufacturing plant could start as soon as next month.

Site-owner Sime Darby London wants to ensure the important moment is recorded for future generations.

It wants to comply a record of the site from its current derelict appearance along the A29 Shripney Road to the opening of a 55,000sq ft Sainsbury’s supermarket with petrol filling station in early 2013.

Raof Daud, a director of Sime Darby London, said: “Sime Darby London is proud to be associated with bringing the former Lec site back to beneficial use for the local community.

“We recognise the importance of the Lec site to the people of Bognor and would like to maintain a record for all to see.”

Individuals, companies and businesses with ideas about how the changes can best be recorded should contact the company on its website.

The success of the project could prompt Sime Darby to consider creating an archive about Lec and the important role it played in Bognor’s life for almost 60 years.

Lec was founded soon after the second world war by Charles Purley in Longford Road which led to the company’s original name of Longford Engineering Company.

It was moved to a gas works on Shripney Road around 1948, expanded to occupy some 10.5 acres and remained there until 2004. More than 2,000 people were employed by the firm at its peak. Even into the 1990s, the payroll exceeded 1,000 people.

This means most families around the town have links with the factory.

Apart from the supermarket, the existing Widdowson Building will be retained and refurbished by Sime Darby for use by specialist fridge maker Polestar Cooling while a new business unit is built.