YE pull plug on Scarcroft

THE Yorkshire Electricity headquarters at Scarcroft, north Leeds, is up for sale and attracting interest from potential buyers.

A sign outside the Wetherby Road premises says the property offers a “mixed use development opportunity” within 110 acres of grounds and 85,700 sq ft of office space.

The company has been based at Scarcroft Lodge since 1948 but its take-over by the npower group last April has meant a rationalisation of assets.

“Many business functions have been relocated to npower’s offices in the Midlands,” said a spokeswoman, “and the number of people working at Scarcroft has been considerably reduced.

“The offices are now too big for our needs and the decision has been made to sell the site and to occupy more suitable alternative premises in the Yorkshire region.

“There will be no further redundancies as a result of the sale.”

No decision has yet been made on an alternative site.

Business functions still based at Scarcroft are: European operations, regional retail sales team, procurement, human resources, press and PR and community relations.

“There has been considerable interest in Scarcroft Lodge,” added the spokeswoman. “Several people have been looking around the site.”

When the electricity supply industry was nationalised in April 1948, 50 private and local authority undertakings came together to form the Yorkshire Electricity Board, which adopted Scarcroft Lodge as its HQ on May 28 1948.

The Lodge was built by a Quaker woollen merchant by 1830 when it first appeared on a map. It was then owned by solicitor Robert Tennant (1828-1900) who was forced to sell it when he lost huge sums in the flax industry.

The Earl of Mexborough bought it in 1888 and installed his daughter Lady Mary Savile there.

The estate passed in 1934 to a former Lord Mayor of Leeds, Albert Braithwaite (1868-1946), who modernised the house, de-silted the lake and built a tennis court.

Scarcroft Lodge was requisitioned and used as a convalescent hospital during the Second World War and its last private owner, businessman Oliphant Philipson, sold it to the YEB.

howard.williamson@ypn.co.uk