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Regeneration:

  • Building work plans at Sunny Bank Mills

    February 3, 2020

    Work is now well underway on the £2 million project called Weaver’s Yard, which will transform the historic Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley, near Leeds.

    The iconic mills, once the home of Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat, are being regenerated by a high-quality modernisation programme which is creating inspirational working and living space for the 21st century.

    Owners and directors John and William Gaunt have invested £7 million in Sunny Bank Mills during the past ten years to regenerate the 10-acre site and to reclaim its status as the prime employer in Farsley.

    Now the central part of the flourishing estate is being remodelled to create open spaces and to re-establish the prominence of historic mill buildings. The main contractor is Leeds-based CBM Construction and the work is scheduled to be completed this summer.

    John Gaunt explained: “We have embarked on an exciting new stage of the regeneration of Sunny Bank Mills by selectively demolishing some commercially unviable buildings, totalling 65,000 sq ft, in the heart of the site. This is the biggest and most ambitious exciting development yet at Sunny Bank Mills.

    “It is allowing us to restore and develop some of the most important buildings at Sunny Banks Mills, such as the Old Woollen Mill, the oldest building on site, dating back to 1829, which will become a significant cultural hub. It was hemmed in on all sides. This is also enabling us to restore other buildings on site, including The Twisting Gallery and The Old Dyehouse.

    “The regeneration is also transforming the visibility, accessibility and parking at Sunny Bank Mills, while retaining the sense of history with pockets of mill yards and easily identifiable landmark buildings of a 19th century textile mill. Importantly, Weaver’s Yard will feature 5,000 sq ft of green space at the heart of the mill, effectively creating an amphitheatre that can be used for outdoor performances and break out space for the occupiers, tenants and visitors of Sunny Bank Mills”.

    Rachel Slater of Leeds architects KPP, who have masterminded this transformation, explained: “Breaking through the defensive Town Street facade between the Festoon Rooms and the 1912 Mill is revealing views towards Weaver’s Yard and the north-light roofs of Red Lane Mill.

    “Meanwhile the demolition of the infill weaving sheds is exposing facades the original mill buildings not seen for over 80 years.

    “The area resulting from the demolition is delivering an open space at the heart of the mill complex, providing much needed connectivity across the site, from the Woodland car park to the Old Combing; and Red Lane Mill to the 1912 Mill.”

    William Gaunt added: “We have already created 355 jobs at Sunny Bank Mills, with more than 80 companies on site. This new phase, which will be developed over the next few years, will ultimately create many more and regenerate these lovely old buildings. We now have the flexibility, the time and the confidence to deliver a sustainable future for Sunny Bank Mills.

    “The remodelling of the heart of Sunny Banks Mills will ensure that the mill woodland is protected, while mill ponds will provide fantastic amenity space for everyone who lives and works here,” he explained. “It will also provide 95 more parking spaces.”

    “We believe very strongly that we must preserve the legacy of Sunny Bank Mills for future generations. We are wholly our committed to the site and to the Farsley community, encouraging the community to become involved in what we are doing here.

    “We have retained and refurbished existing historic buildings such as Sandsgate, the Mending Rooms and the 1912 Mill to create new jobs and to make Sunny Bank Mills the economic powerhouse of Farsley once again.

    He added: “The iconic 1912 Mill, where Heartbeat and Emmerdale were filmed, now has a number of quality occupiers, but 16,000 sq ft of very flexible Grade A office space is available to lease now.

    “I think the pedigree of business which has relocated here already reflects the quality of the refurbishments being undertaken and that even in a challenging commercial property market, Sunny Bank Mills and Farsley is succeeding succeed in its mission of being the top creative space for business in the region,” he explained.

    Mike Haigh of Leeds-based property consultants Dove Haigh Phillips, who are joint marketing agents of the site with the Leeds office of JLL, said that this was one of the most significant mill regeneration projects currently being undertaken in Yorkshire.

    He commented: “This is a genuinely exciting development. Steeped in history and with massive potential, Sunny Bank Mills is becoming one of the prime business locations in the West Leeds area. The extensive lettings so far underline this.

    “The mix of historic buildings with first-class modern business facilities is a winning combination, whilst the location, in between Leeds and Bradford, close to Yorkshire’s superb motorway network, one mile from the nearest station and just five miles from Leeds- Bradford Airport, is perfect,” he said.

    For further information, please contact Robert Beaumont of Robert Beaumont Associates on 01423 323139

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Business:

  • Sunny Bank Mills at night

    December 29, 2019

    Two successful companies have moved into the thriving Sunny Bank Mills, the iconic Yorkshire mill, between Leeds and Bradford.

    These new deals underline the renaissance of Sunny Banks Mills in Farsley, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed, and make a perfect start to 2020 for the popular mill complex.

    The new tenants at Sunny Bank are Technomed and White Rose Training.

    Technomed have taken quality office space in the refurbished 10 Old Engine Room, while White Rose Training are moving into Red Lane Mill, which is now fully occupied.

    Mark Pashley of medical technology company Techomed commented: “The initial attraction of Sunny Bank Mills was the prime location, the local facilities, great transportation links and very reasonably-priced office and storage space.

    “As a technology company, it was important to find somewhere that could support any connectivity needs we have not just now, but in future. Sunny Bank Mills were able to provide high-speed internet links and physical infrastructure that could facilitate our bespoke connections such as those to the NHS network.

    “We are a medical technology company that provides cardiology diagnostic services for the NHS and private healthcare organisations. Our head office is in Kent, but we are rapidly expanding. The move to Sunny Bank Mills for our Northern office is a fundamental building block in this expansion, which will include the ongoing addition of resources such as staff, warehouse space and technical infrastructure.

    “The landlords John and William Gaunt have been a complete breath of fresh air, incredibly helpful and accommodating of both our business and staff needs. Any questions prior to moving in or once in the office have been promptly answered,” he added. “We are proud to be here.”

    Meanwhile Ken Creek of White Rose Training, a first aid and safety training company, working across the north of England, explained: “The location, just off the ring road between Leeds and Bradford, is a massive benefit, as is the decent amount of parking space. The office is the right size and, importantly, there are no additional hidden costs.

    “We were looking for a suitable permanent base to hold regular open courses for businesses in the Leeds and Bradford area and Sunny Banks Mills is perfect,” he added.

    During the past seven years the multi award-winning Sunny Bank Mills, one of the most famous family-owned mills in Yorkshire, has been transformed into a modern office complex for the 21st century. It is now home to 82 companies, who employ a total of 355 staff.

    It is also a best-practice case study in a report Engines of Prosperity, on the conversion and regeneration of West Yorkshire’s textile mills prepared by Cushman and Wakefield on behalf of Historic England.

    John Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, commented: “The recent lettings emphasize our focus on achieving a really vibrant mix of occupiers at Sunny Bank Mills. We are also proud of the fact that we have been able to let both these offices without any void periods.”

    He added: “The refurbished 1912 Mill, where Heartbeat and Emmerdale were filmed, now has a number of quality occupiers, but 16,000 sq ft of very flexible Grade A office space is available to lease”.

    The marketing agents for Sunny Bank Mills are Leeds-based property consultancy Dove Haigh Phillips and the Leeds office of JLL.

    For further information, please contact Robert Beaumont of Robert Beaumont Associates on 01423 323139 or 07710 127713

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Find More Stories

We’ve included some of our most recent press resources here – if you’re interested in finding earlier news articles and reports on the Mill, please check the resources below.

Business Desk

Building plans work Sunny Bank Mills

Media enquiries

Further information on press enquiries, interviews and digital assets are available from Robert Beaumont Associates.

Tel: 01423 323139 or 07710 127713

Email:  robert@robertbeaumont.co.uk