IT was home to one of Britain’s much-loved chocolate manufacturers.

Now a shadow of its former glory days, the Bendicks chocolate factory in Winchester could soon be home to a new tenant.

The 1960s purpose-built factory in Moorside Road is on the market with an annual rent of nearly a quarter of a million pounds.

Bendicks moved manufacturing to its Ohrdruff plant in eastern Germany in 2011 with the loss of 84 jobs but parent company Storck kept some of its offices at the site.

In December 2013 it sold the 67,264 sq ft factory on the Winnall Industrial Estate to Broadshade Investments, which is seeking new tenants.

If there is enough interest and a prospective tenant for the entire property, Storck will leave Winchester for good.

The property is being marketed by Lambert Smith Hampton.

South coast branch director Adrian Whitfield said he was expecting a lot of interest.

“The Bendicks site is steeped in history as the site of one of Britain’s oldest chocolate manufactures.

“Today it is the ideal space for office occupiers and businesses looking for industrial warehouse space.

“There is a current shortage of available warehouse space over 30,000 sq ft in this area, so we anticipate a good level of interest.”

Bendicks was founded in 1930 when Mr Benson and Colonel Dickson started making chocolates in the basement of their Kensington shop in west London.

The business moved to Winchester in 1967.