Work to transform historic Leeds mill gathers pace

Work is well underway on a £2 million project to regenerate a historic mill in the heart of a west Leeds village.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:00 am
John and William Gaunt in the heart of Sunny Bank Mills.

The Weaver's Yard scheme aims to create a inspirational working and living space to transform historic Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley.

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The iconic mills, once the home of Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat, are being regenerated by a high-quality modernisation programme across the 10 acre site.

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Owners and directors John and William Gaunt have invested £7 million in Sunny Bank Mills over the last decade, creating more than 350 jobs and welcoming 80 businesses on site.

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. It will feature 5,000ft of green space creating an amphitheatre to be used for outdoor performances.

The work is scheduled to be completed this summer.

William Gaunt said: ““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.

"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. It will also provide 95 more parking spaces.

“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.

John Gaunt said the Weaver's Yard scheme was the biggest and most ambitious exciting development yet at Sunny Bank Mills.

"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."

Rachel Slater of Leeds architects KPP, who have masterminded this transformation, said: “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.

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: "Steeped in history and with

massive potential, Sunny Bank Mills is becoming one of the prime business locations in the west Leeds area."