The Redevelopment

Old Sardine Factory – Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre opened to the public at 10am on 3rd July 2018.

The overall aim of the project was to re-develop the ‘Sardine Factory’, which is a very old, Grade 2 listed building on the quayside at West Looe.

Originally, the building was used as a sardine processing factory, but in recent years has been used for fishermen’s stores (particularly netters).

Pilchards Sardines
Sardines being packed in the Old Sardine Factory

The building, which originated as a fish cellar in the 1880’s, was in a poor state of repair and not fit for use and drastic action was required to save it.
The building ran a net loss year on year and had reached a condition where it had become a liability rather than an asset to the local economy and was deemed to be ‘visually unacceptable’ within the surrounding conservation area.

Tell tales were fitted to the building to monitor structural movement due to the risk of collapse and the real consequence of risk to lives and adjacent property. The building was a liability and needed investment to recreate job opportunities, support the local economy and enhance the visual appearance of this idyllic location. Hence the decision to act and re-develop a building that would benefit the Harbour and town needs, whilst returning an annual profit.

Financial support to achieve Phase One (Design and Development) of the project was secured in June 2014 from FLAG.

The main aim of Phase 2 was to sympathetically demolish and re-build a prominent Harbour side ‘listed’ building utilizing some of the existing materials, whilst incorporating new internal layouts that would enable it to be better utilized and support a range of activities, including the provision of quality training and volunteering opportunities, events and sports.

The project will service the needs of both the fishing industry and the community, preserve our heritage and bring new opportunities to the community.


In the Heritage Centre you can view the full time lapse video of the demolition and rebuild of the Old Sardine Factory.

Arch way at the rear of the Sardine Factory revealed