Toffee Factory (former Maynards toffee factory)

In 1870 Newcastle Corporation decided to develop a ‘Foreign Cattle Yard and Slaughter Shops’ at the north end of the site that is now Lower Steenbergs Yard, due to increasing importation of live cattle from abroad. The building that is now the Toffee Factory, was built in 1878, possibly to provide greater storage capacity.

John Vose had moved to Newcastle from Liverpool in the mid-1870s determined to start his own confectionery business. He settled down in New Bridge Street and started selling Everton Mints to the shipworkers. In 1891 he is already recorded to be working in Ouseburn Road, with his two sons working as sugar boilers.

His business did phenomenally well, and by the mid-1890s he was running several retail premises in the city. At the same time two men from London, Charles Riley and Tom Maynard, saw their confectionery business flourish and decided to expand to other locations, including Newcastle. The success of John Vose’s factory and shops caught their eye, and they were able to buy him out. He moved back to Merseyside and retired in comfort from the proceeds of the sale.

Maynards moved into The Toffee Works, making ‘Med-o-crème’ toffee and sticks of named rock for seaside resorts. From about 1900 part of the site also appears to have been used as a timber yard and saw-mill business, and also for storage warehouses by Richard Steenberg, who had settled in the 1850s from Denmark.

In the early 20th Century, canned food andother goods arrived by sea mainly from Scandinavia, and were transported up the Ouseburn from the Quayside berth in wherries. During the Second World War, lard was stored in bulk, as it became a substitute for butter, and the site was used for storage right through until the early 1990s.

In 1993 the empty former factory was severely damaged by fire. The shell of the building stood derelict until it was reopened as the refurbished Toffee Factory in 2011.

Now home to 24 creative and digital businesses, it is once again thriving, with over 150 staff working on a daily basis.

Description courtesy of Chronicle Live.

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Sorry about the poor quality of the photos taken quickly during a guided tour.

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Maynard's Toffee Factory April 2010.

A look around the former Maynard's Toffee Factory before redevelopment.

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