Prestolite (Butec), Leyland



Date Visited: October 2007

This site, like pretty much everything in Leyland, was once part of the mighty Leyland Trucks empire. In the 70's British Leyland employed over 10000 people in Leyland alone (the population is only 40000), but the sale of the truck division to DAF in the late 80's, and DAF's bankruptcy in the early 90's, saw everything but the truck assembly plant shut or sold off. This site was sold to Butec, and then sold again to new owners and was renamed Prestolite.
The site used to manufacture and recondition electric motors and alternators, but like everything else, it was cheaper to do it in China, so the place shut in June 2005, with the loss of 81 jobs, although I imagine far, far more were employed in days gone by.
It's a big site, about 200000sq ft according to the company trying to let it out, and indeed it has been used for storage, but the local chavs broke in and started a fire, although this was contained to just one room. Sadly 2000 coat hangers perished in the conflagration http://www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/lfrs/incidents/incident.php?id=3528.

Overall though, the place has been stripped bare of pretty much everything, so there wasn't that much to see really, although it did take nearly 2 hours due to it being a big site.