Cocoa Works Redevelopment: Heritage Working Group

Cocoa Works Redevelopment: Heritage Working Group

The former Rowntree factory on the Haxby Road, York – known as the ‘Cocoa Works’ – closed in the 2000s, and the site has since become derelict. In 2020, building work began on the redevelopment of the site and its conversion into residential apartments by Clarion Housing Group, based on a design by Associated Architects. The development will include the restoration of the Grade II-listed Joseph Rowntree Memorial Library, a complete example of an Arts and Crafts building which retains a large number of original fittings.

Artist's impression of a new residential development on the site of the Rowntree factory in York. Large multi-storey building with green space, trees and a road in front, with York skyline in the distance.

Visualisation of the redeveloped Rowntree factory on Haxby Road, York. The project is scheduled for completion by Spring 2023.(Image: Associated Architects)


The Rowntree Society is leading a Heritage Working Group in York to liaise with the developers at the site throughout the duration of the project up to its projected completion in Spring 2023. The group brings together expertise in civic engagement, architecture and cultural heritage. Our aim is to ensure that the architectural, social and historical significance of the site are retained, and that the former factory and library can resume their roles at the heart of a thriving community once again.

For more information on the group, or if are interested in joining, write to us at

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