The deals, featuring tenants from the retail, leisure, IT recruitment and engineering consultancy sectors, underline the renaissance of Sunny Banks Mills in Farsley, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed.
During the past six 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 more than 70 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.
Three new tenants, Adesse Search, fit20 and Arlington Interiors, have moved into Sunny Bank Mills, while the rapidly-expanding Adept Consulting Engineering have relocated into larger offices within the mill complex.
William Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, said: “These four deals underline the versatility and flexibility of space at Sunny Bank Mills, which is attracting an exciting breadth of occupiers. They also illustrate the strength of the post-Brexit Yorkshire economy, with all three companies having the confidence to invest in new premises and in their future.
“More specifically, a boutique IT recruitment consultancy, a pioneering gym operator and a successful kitchen retailer are fantastic additions to the Sunny Bank Mills community, while the decision by Adept Consulting to move into bigger premises at Sunny Bank is a tremendously heartening endorsement of our development,” said Mr Gaunt.
Kieran Igwe of fit20, who have taken 1,775 sq ft of leisure space in the 1912 Mill, said: “We needed a site for a new fitness franchise, which we are launching next year; somewhere that had a high-end feel, was well-managed and well-looked after. Sunny Bank Mills ticked all the boxes.
“The 1912 Mill in particular is an impressive, iconic building situated at the heart of a vibrant community. And while we were originally looking for a modern building, the potential for 1912 Mill, and the flexibility of the landlords, made the space the perfect fit for us. Sunny Bank Mills feels like a great place for both established and up and coming businesses.
“Because we’ll have customers visiting us on site we needed a location that people really like being. With the variety of businesses and the general buzz you can tell Sunny Bank Mills is a place that people love spending their time.
“John and William Gaunt have been a pleasure to deal with. They are very accommodating with our specific requirements, willing to listen to what we were looking for and receptive to fitting out the space to the high standard we required. You can tell they want things to be right for you and your business,” said Mr Igwe.
Adesse Search, an expanding IT recruitment specialist, has taken 813 sq ft of quality office space in Sandsgate, the Edwardian mill office.
Claire Ackers, Adesse’s owner and managing director, said: “Founded in 2015, we are a family company that’s rapidly growing. There’s four of us at the moment and we have space to grow to 10 or 12, hopefully by the end of next year.
“As soon as I saw our office in Sandsgate, I knew we had to move there. It’s an incredibly inspiring, light space. We do a lot of filming in our office and all clients who visit us comment what a lovely space it is. Sunny Bank Mills is a really welcoming community too. Everyone has been really friendly.
“We intend to employ professional people who want a better work/life balance, for example working parents who don’t want to do the ‘City Centre thing’. Sunny Bank Mills is the ideal location to attract the calibre of employee we’re looking for.
“Landlords John and William Gaunt are a rare breed, so passionate about restoring the Mills to their former glory. It’s a privilege and an inspiration to be part of the story,” said Claire.
Arlington Interiors, who are relocating from Limewood Road in Seacroft, are opening a 4,000 sq ft state-of-the-art showroom at 4 Spinning Mill.
Ben Russell, a director of Arlington Interiors, said: “These are perfect premises for us. The building itself is beautiful and when we realised it was on the market to let, we couldn’t pass the opportunity up. We are looking forward to being part of a thriving and vibrant community, with a wonderful mix of creative businesses, restaurants and leisure outlets. This is the ideal home to showcase us, our products and our design ethos”.
Finally Adept Civil and Structural Consulting Engineers have expanded into new flagship and refurbished premises in the 1912 Mill, after signing a five-year lease on a 4,000 sq ft office suite. Adept moved into Sunny Bank Mills in 2014 and previously occupied an office suite within The Festoon Rooms.
John Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, said: “Adept is an innovative and forward-thinking company which makes it a valuable part of the business community at Sunny Bank Mills, so it’s been a privilege to be able to facilitate the team’s expansion into the 1912 Mill.”
He added: “The refurbished 1912 Mill now has a number of quality occupiers, but 12,000 sq ft of very flexible Grade A office space is available to lease now”.
Sarah-Jayne Lishman of Leeds-based property consultancy Dove Haigh Phillips, said: “The refurbishment of Sunny Bank Mills is a complete triumph, a wonderful balance of cutting edge modern employment space in an environment rich in history and heritage. The attention to detail is stunning and the mills now provide arguably the finest space in the Leeds-Bradford corridor.”
The joint marketing agents for Sunny Bank Mills are the Leeds office of global property consultancy JLL.