John Gosnell & Co

New Flagship Cosmetics Facility.


How we improved the UK’s oldest cosmetics manufacturer’s production process.

Merit built a new flagship facility for John Gosnell & Co that included the development of a biodiverse ‘Sedum’ grass roof.

  • Sedum grass roof installed to integrate with the new facility’s location in the South Downs.
  • The new facility was part of the £180m ‘North Street Quarter’ regeneration project in Lewes.
  • Included GMP Grade C cleanrooms for the packaging areas with remaining change and ancillary areas to Grade D.

Merit was contracted to carry out the turnkey design and build project for a new flagship HQ facility on behalf of John Gosnell & Co. – the UK’s oldest cosmetics manufacturer. The project was carried out as part of a £180m regeneration project – the ‘North Street Quarter’.

John Gosnell & Co. dates back to 1677. In 1760 the company decided to fully devote itself to cosmetics, soap and perfume manufacturing. The company expanded globally with its Cherry Blossom, Famora and Society ranges which became a major household name across the world. In the 1930s, the company moved to Lewes in East Sussex and was reinvigorated and today remains one of the finest examples of an independent cosmetics company.

The project brief included the design and build of a new purpose-built facility, to include the biodiverse ‘Sedum’ grass roof. Working closely with the main client and Lewes District Council, the North Street Quarter regeneration project has been described as ‘the most significant development in Lewes for decades’. It brings together a sustainable mixed-use neighbourhood including affordable housing, vital flood defences, a riverside walkway, flexible employment space, off-street parking and a healthcare hub serving 26,000 patients.

The regeneration project for John Gosnell & Co. provided the opportunity to relocate into larger, more modern facilities in order to increase manufacturing. The construction of the one-storey mezzanine level factory unit included a warehouse area; production areas; cleanrooms; storage areas; offices; WC’s on the ground floor with canteen and meeting rooms; and ground floor laboratories.

Gosnell’s required GMP Grade C cleanrooms for the packaging areas with the remaining change/ancillary areas at Grade D. The project also included mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations along with associated external works and service connections. Merit self-delivered a number of packages including M&E, cleanroom and laboratory construction.

The Gosnell’s site was registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). The site was subject to two monitor visits where we were awarded ‘Excellent’ scores in Appearance, Community and Safety.