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Corn Exchange in Hadleigh given new lease of life by estate agency


By Priya Kingsley-Adam


A centuries-old landmark, which once served as a key site for merchants to trade corn, has been given a new lease of life.

The Corn Exchange in Market Place, Hadleigh, has undergone a major refurbishment to make way for Chapman Stickels estate agents.

Having gained extensive experience in the property sector, former colleagues Benedict Stickels and Robert Chapman decided to partner up to launch their own business venture.

Robert Chapman and Benedict Stickels have bought Hadleigh Corn Exchange and turned it into a new estate agency business called Chapman Stickels. Pictured are Robert Chapman and Benedict Stickels...Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (19905783)
Robert Chapman and Benedict Stickels have bought Hadleigh Corn Exchange and turned it into a new estate agency business called Chapman Stickels. Pictured are Robert Chapman and Benedict Stickels...Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (19905783)

“We felt we were well equipped to start up on our own, which was key for us,” said Mr Stickels, from Kersey.

While working together at Carter Jonas estate agents in Long Melford, the pair developed a strong working relationship and were confident they could maximise their skills as an independent firm.

“We are well known in the area,” said Mr Stickels. “We felt that we could do agency work even better on our own; we wanted to be the masters of our own destinies.

“We had some ideas but they were difficult to implement in a corporate sector.”

Before joining an estate agency company, Mr Chapman worked at his family’s firm, Roy Chapman and Sons.

“My father, Roy, is retired now, but still lives in Nayland,” he said.

Mr Chapman said the new business has adopted “traditional values with a modern twist” and is confident it will prove successful in meeting the demand in the area and further afield.

“I think there’s a niche here and Hadleigh is such a great town,” he said. “It’s thriving. You look at the high street and there’s not many empty units compared to other areas.”

Originally built in 1813, the landmark site underwent a full restoration in 1895. Corn exchanges were used as open markets where merchants traded corn. They proved popular in towns and cities, operating across the country during the 18th and 19th century.

Having been registered as a Grade II-listed building in 1972, planning permission was required from Babergh District Council before the refurbishment project could begin.

“We looked into the history of the building and we had to notify the council of what our intentions were,” said Mr Stickels.

The business has started operating while work on the firm’s new office draws closer to completion.

With only a few original features having remained at the site, the pair decided to focus on updating the interior.

“There were lots of 1980s’ furnishings, so it needed a cosmetic lift,” he said.

“We have pulled out everything, replaced the full height glazing doors and repainted.

“It was a complete labour of love. We had a clear vision of how we wanted it to look and we’re really pleased with it so far.”

For more information about the new company, go online to www.chapmanstickels.co.uk or call the business on 01473 372372.


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