Work is underway on a £2m project called Weaver’s Yard which will transform the Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley, near Leeds.
The mills are being regenerated though a modernisation programme which is creating inspirational working and living space fit for the 21st century.
Owners and directors John and William Gaunt have invested £7m in Sunny Bank Mills during the past ten years to regenerate the 10-acre site.
The Gaunt family have been involved with Sunny Bank Mills for six generations. They are committed to creating a stimulating environment for local businesses and to restoring the historic Sunny Bank Mills to an exceptional standard with all modern facilities.
Now the central part of the 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.
William Gaunt explained: “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 the mill woodland is protected, while mill ponds will provide fantastic amenity space for everyone who lives and works here. 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 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. “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. John Gaunt added: “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.”