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Report - - The X-T Building, Crewe - March 2023 | Industrial Sites |

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Useful Idiot
Regular User
March 2023

The Visit
Visited with @stranton whilst @coolboyslim kept watch from the outside, being a local I’ve had my eye on this one for a while ever since it was announced that Brightstar intended to relocate to another property in the town, the building began life as the COOP Tea and Coffee Centre and in its heyday it was a major employer in the town. The building itself isn't particularly anything special, it is your standard 1970s industrial premises with a large tower in the centre of the structure. When you mention the building to someone that has grown up in the town you often hear 'I wonder what's in the tower, well today I can answer that question. The building has only recently become completely empty, in fact our visit only took place a few days after the final staff left the site where we had free-roam of the entire place. We spent about three hours in this seemingly endless building, just seen we though you'd done it all we would stumble across more vast rooms that we hadn't yet been into. There isn't much of a history about this building given it's relatively short existence but I have picked through the internet and planning documents and pieced the below together.

The History
The town of Crewe has long been associated with the co-operative movement, as well as being the second town in the country to form a co-operative friendly society (second only to Rochdale) it also has one of the highest ratios of COOP stores per head of population in the country. This fondness for the movement eventually lead to CWS Limited (Co-Operative Wholesale Society) choosing Crewe as the home of their new Tea and Coffee Centre which opened in January 1974. The site produced the majority of tea and coffee products for the cooperative stores, this includes the iconic 99 blend tea which is still a popular variant to this day (although it is no longer processed in Crewe). The centre quickly became a major employer in Crewe and regularly participated in local events, such as the local Carnival where staff members would throw samples of tea bags off the back of procession floats to the watching crowd. The centre operated up until the late 1990s when the decision was taken to close the facility as a cost cutting measure.

Following the closure of the Tea and Coffee Centre the building was unofficially renamed ’X-T’ in a nod to the building’s previous use. It was then split into two industrial units, the first of these units would become home to John Caudwell's 20:20 Mobile Group, the sister company to his Phones4U brand of mobile phone shops. The second unit would become home to Bargain Booze who are the largest off-licence chain in the United Kingdom, the chain having originally been founded in 1981 in the nearby town of Sandbach. In preparation for the new tenants a planning application was submitted in 2000 to Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council to extend unit two with a new office building on the west side of the unit and additional warehouse space to the east. In 2013 it was announced that 20:20 Mobile Group had been acquired by Brightstar who continued to operate from the site until mid-2021 when they relocated to a new purpose built facility elsewhere in the town and in doing so left their part of the building vacant.

In February 2022 it was announced that the former Tea and Coffee Centre building could be bulldozed to make way for a new warehouse and offices following an application by owners AEW UK Core Property Fund who had applied for permission to demolish the structure. However in early 2023 Bargain Booze vacated the property and relocated their distribution centre to Newcastle Under Lyme, following this the unit was advertise on line as available for lease again so it would appear that demolition may no longer be on the table for this building, or at least not in the short term.

Screenshot 2023-03-25 at 22.49.15.jpg

[0] - The building when the Coop still occupied the site.

GRONK_EX_Building1 (copy).jpg

[1] - The Building Seen From The Main Road


[2] - Office Space

[3] - Office Space/ Call Centre


[4] -20:20 Mobile Canteen Area


[5] - 20:20 Canteen Servery

[6] - 20:20 Warehouse Space

[7] - 20:20 Warehouse Space

[8] - 20:20 Warehouse Space


[9] - 20:20 Warehouse Space


[10] - Bargain Booze 'The New Warehouse'


[11] - Bargain Booze 'The Old Warehouse'


[12] - Inside Of The Tower

[13] - The Tower As Seen From The Roof


[14] - Looking Over The Admin Building​

Cheers for looking :thumb
Canon EOS 70D, 10-18mm EFS


Useful Idiot
Regular User
Demo started on this one last week, to be replaced with another featureless grey cube. :(