Two successful companies have signed new deals at the thriving Sunny Bank Mills, the iconic Yorkshire mill, between Leeds and Bradford.
The deals underline the renaissance of Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed.
Graphic design agency ICM Creative have moved into newly refurbished offices at The Mending Rooms in the Sunny Bank Mills complex, while SCRAP Centre of Creative Reuse, who have been at Sunny Bank Mills for five years, have signed a new five-year lease at the Spinning Mill.
ICM Account Director Caroline Murray commented: “We are thrilled to become a part of this vibrant creative space in the Yorkshire village of Farsley. The newly refurbished office will allow ICM to grow and expand and provides our team (existing and future) with an exciting place to work.
“We are a trusted and respected graphic design agency, at our core we are a friendly group of creative, intelligent thinkers specialising in design for print, brand creation, packaging, point of sale, exhibitions and online. We have eight staff working at Sunny Bank Mills, plus our company Labrador Sydney.
“This is a fantastic base to work from. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many creative businesses in the heart of Farsley and an ideal location from which to visit our clients and for them to visit us. William and John Gaunt, the landlords, are very helpful and pro-active and we would recommend Sunny Bank Mills to other businesses and have already done so,” she added.
Meanwhile Louise Lucas of SCRAP explained: “Before we moved to Farsley we had been housed in a cold, damp and inaccessible unit in Kirkstall near the River Aire. Although the prospect of moving to the Spinning Mill was full of huge promise it felt risky too, our hesitancy chiefly caused by uncertainty around whether we could afford the space, coupled with concerns about whether our customers would travel to this side of Leeds. That all seems hard to believe now.
“The space was everything we ever dared to hope for as our premises – beautiful, huge, with original features in abundance and plenty of room for growth and flexibility to try out new ideas. We had been working with Leeds City Council Early Improvement Team for many years to try and find a shared space for delivering their training in inspiring and creative surroundings so the Spinning Mill certainly ticked all the boxes for us and our future partnership.
“From the very first time we met John and William Gaunt and viewed our space within the Spinning Mill we were hooked. Not just hooked on the Spinning Mill but the whole mill complex, everything the Gaunts have built, their whole vision and what they stand for. Moving to Sunnybank Mills was and still is the best decision we made for Scrap Creative Reuse.
“Since moving to Sunnybank Mills, with Leeds Early Years Improvement Team, the Scrap store’s footfall has grown significantly. This means we have become a self- sustaining social enterprise no longer reliant on funding. Five years ago we employed just two staff members and now, in 2019, we have seven staff members, six freelancers regularly working with us on our range of events and activities, and seven volunteers.
She added: “We are so happy to have recently signed a new five year lease with Sunnybank Mills and look forward to working with William and John over the next five years. Right from the start William and John have been fully supportive and shared our vision of bringing a community focused social enterprise to the Mill, and that means a great deal to a small social enterprise like us.”
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.
John Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, commented: “These two 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 Yorkshire economy, with both companies having the confidence to commit their future to us at Sunny Bank Mills.”
He added: “The refurbished 1912 Mill, where Heartbeat and Emmerdale were filmed, now has a number of quality occupiers, but 16,000 sq ft of very flexible Grade A office space is available to lease immediately”.