Work has begun on a mammoth project to transform the former HP Sauce factory in Birmingham into East End Foods' £9m new depot.

The 100,000 sq ft cash & carry incorporating a 20,000 sq ft bonded warehouse is set to open by the end of September, in time for the Christmas trade. Phase two, adding a luxury 15-storey hotel and conference centre, starts in 2012.

"We are very excited work is underway for this project," said chairman Tony Deep Wouhra. "The site is a prominent gateway to Birmingham and has an important legacy for the city and the food industry.

"We're proud to continue this association with a development that will secure its future as a vibrant commercial centre for food innovation and enterprise."

Heinz closed the factory in 2007, moving production to The Netherlands. It was subsequently demolished. The hotel and conference complex will replace the factory's famous tower.