Hat-trick for flourishing ex-Emmerdale mill

Sunny Bank Mills

Three new deals have been completed at the thriving Sunny Bank Mills, the iconic Yorkshire mill complex between Leeds and Bradford.

The deals, featuring tenants from the textile, HR and safety consultancy sectors, underline the renaissance of Sunny Banks Mills in Farsley, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed.

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 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.

One of the new tenants is Ansar Rahman, a bespoke tailor, who is opening his new studio Atelier Rahman at 3 Spinning Mill, the atmospheric four-storey Victorian mill building at the front of the site.

He commented: “It is a dream come true to open my tailor’s studio in a textile mill steeped in history and heritage like Sunny Bank Mills. The symmetry is perfect.

“It is also great to be part of a community. Coming from a corporate background, I have always been surrounded by people so it will be great to be a part of an eclectic mix of talented individuals and organisations.

“The flexibility in the opening hours at Sunny Bank Mills means that my clients can book appointments to suit their commitments. It is much more restrictive in the city centres of Leeds or Manchester. Add to this, the warmth and welcoming nature of landlords John and William Gaunt and my move to this wonderful working, retail and leisure community was a very easy decision to take,” he added.

Atelier Rahman, which is currently being fitted out, will open in the autumn.

Meanwhile Breathing Space HR is relocating from nearby Stanningley to 13 Festoon Rooms at Sunny Bank Mills.

Suzie Bogle, managing director, said: “We are expanding fast, taking on larger businesses who see the value in outsourcing HR, particularly as they feel secure that everything will get done and we also ensure that they keep moving forward and get better with their people and their people get better and more productive.

“Business is good in Yorkshire and Sunny Bank Mills is well placed to get to all our clients as well as space for them to come and visit us. I have looked at Sunny Bank Mills as a potential location for years. I love the style and the ambience.”

Finally process safety consultants DEKRA have moved into the iconic 1912 Mill, the actual building where Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed.

The company relocated to larger purpose-built premises in Southampton in 2015 and is now moving to new premises in Leeds to allow more of its team in the north of England to have a base.

William Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, said: “These three 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 bespoke tailor, a national safety consultancy firm and an expanding HR company and are varied and welcome additions to the Sunny Bank Mills community.”

John Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, said: “It gives us especial pleasure to welcome Ansar Rahman to Sunny Bank Mills. We are incredibly proud of our textile heritage and it is wonderful to have a bespoke tailor opening a studio on site”.

He added: “At the same time Chilworth Technology’s move to the refurbished 1912 Mill means the building has an increasing variety of quality occupiers, but 12,000 sq ft (check) 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.


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