The Bournville story is a fascinating piece of social history where factory owners the Cadbury brothers pioneered employee welfare. In 1878, when the original chocolate factory had outgrown its original premises in Bridge Street, instead of looking for a new place in the industrial quarter of Birmingham the brothers made the revolutionary decision to move their business to the country.
As well as building a new factory on the country estate they had purchased, they also built housing and recreational facilities for the workers, hence Bournville became “a factory in a garden”.
Although now surrounded by Birmingham’s expansion, Bournville village still thrives today and, among other things, runs 12 different types of special needs housing schemes.
If you’d like to read more about this story of pioneering and philanthropic employers, and see some pictures of Bournville, then you can download a free factsheet from Cadbury’s (PDF file, 131 KB; requires reader program, eg Adobe Reader).