New lease of life for historic Leeds textile mill

Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley.
Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley.
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A historic Leeds mill’s transformation into a community hub is continuing with the arrival of two new tenants.

Leeds (West) Foodbank’s new head office and portrait photographer Karen Gavin are moving into Sunny Bank Mills, in Farsley.

The historic mill provided the backdrop for the filming of Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat.

Leeds (West) Foodbank will use the mill as a new base for its administration and head office facilities.

Lucy Pitkin, the co-ordinator for Leeds (West) Foodbank, said: “There is a huge need for a foodbank in West Leeds.

“We love the way that the mill is being developed so creatively and is at the heart of the Farsley community.”

The YEP revealed the owners of Sunny Bank Mills are reviving the Farsley site by taking inspiration from Bradford’s World Heritage Site, Salts Mill.

The scheme aims to reclaim the mill’s status as one of the west Leeds village’s biggest employers.

Over the past three years Sunny Bank Mills has been transformed into a modern office and mixed-use complex leading to the creation of 200 new jobs.

John Gaunt , joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, praised the new arrivals and added: “These two new lettings underline our commitment both to the community and to the arts.

“With our new art gallery now open, Sunny Bank Mills is a genuine hub for the creative sector.”

Mr Gaunt’s vision for the future includes creating a grand piazza area complete with cafes, a restaurant and a spa.

After almost two centuries, the Gaunt family took the decision in 2008 to halt textile production at the historic west Leeds mill.

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STILL HOPEFUL: Campaigners from Kirkstall Valley Development Trust at Abbey Milsl in Kirkstall. From left: Fiona Butler, Chris Hill, Paul Holdsworth and Adele Rae.

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