AN HISTORIC city factory has been called a “bad neighbour” for failing to become involved with the local community and causing constant late-night disruption.

City councillors have criticised the famous Lea & Perrins factory in Worcester, home of the legendary Worcestershire Sauce, for ignoring the concerns of locals and abandoning the city in which it was created and is still produced.

Cllr Lynn Denham, who represents Cathedral ward, said there is no relationship between the makers of the iconic sauce and its neighbours. “It is just such a shame in every way,” she said. “They literally don’t interact or respond to anything.

There has been a recent complaint from a resident that lives nearby and I reached out to a variety of [council] officers and they don’t respond to any of them either. “The history and the fact that it is an absolutely iconic Worcester brand, there is a potential for it to be a proper visitor attraction and for it to be a major cultural part of the city.

They don’t engage in any of that. There are no visits, there is no community or partnership department at all within the factory. “There are other significant employers in the city who sponsored a giraffe for St Richard’s Hospice, for example, when we had the trail around the city. The sauce factory does not participate in any way with any of those things.”

Fellow ward councillor Jabba Riaz said he was holding out an olive branch to bosses at Lea & Perrins' owners, Kraft Heinz, to help build a relationship. “Every so often we do get neighbours complaining about noise and parking. We have been trying to get in contact with Lea & Perrins for a while now but unfortunately as management is based in Europe we don’t have much contact with them,” he said. “Quite simply, at the moment they are not a good neighbour and for a company that has so much history and heritage, we feel a bit neglected.

“The workforce is from our community and they just fail to respond to our concerns. A lot of the community is very proud of the factory and the Lea & Perrins name, a lot of people have worked there and have settled there, they have got an affiliation with it and a real connection. They feel that with the new owners that all of that has been lost because there is no community or acknowledgement of the local residents and the issues with the factory.

“They just need to be better neighbours. I wouldn’t say we are angry, we’re just disappointed. The olive branch is there. We want to meet with them, work with them and increase the good name across Worcester and the world. We want to keep that tradition going.”

Cllr Denham said dozens of attempts have been made to build a relationship between the factory in Midland Road and surrounding schools and community centres as well as making it a bigger destination for tourists, all to no avail.

She added there have been many complaints from neighbours about late-night noise which she feels show the factory owner’s complete disregard for the community. “I know the city council and various colleges have tried to engage with them and get absolutely nothing. There is no response, there is no engagement,” she said. “And with regards to being a neighbour, there is of course a community around the factory, there has been long-standing problems with noise with metal barrels being moved around and clanging in the middle of the night

“There has been enforcement action against them, and it did improve for a bit but every now and again it just slips back to normal. It is just indicative of being completely thoughtless of the rest of the community.

“There is just no engagement with the community or the life of the city. There is obviously the residential community, there are three schools really close to them and a community centre. Nobody sees beyond the factory gates.”

A spokesman for Kraft Heinz said: “Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce has been made in Worcester since 1837 and has always been proud to be part of the community and a good neighbour.

"Following the comments made by Councillor Lynn Denham in the Worcester News we immediately reached out to her to arrange an opportunity to meet.

"We are awaiting a reply.”