Sunny Bank Mills, the historic mill complex at Farsley between Leeds and Bradford, is celebrating a very special century.
The arrival of two new occupiers at the iconic textile mill means that there are now 100 companies on site.
Fusion By Design Ltd and ATB Group UK Ltd have taken quality office space at Sandsgate and the 1912 Mill respectively.
During the past ten years Sunny Bank Mills, one of the most famous family-owned mills in Yorkshire, has been transformed into a modern office and mixed-use retail and leisure complex for the 21st century, creating more than 400 sustainable new jobs.
John Gaunt, the joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse Ltd, the mill’s parent company, commented: “This is a very special landmark for us – a real cause for celebration. When we first started redeveloping the mill in 2012, there were fewer than 10 companies on site. Now there are more than ten times that number.
“It was over 100 years ago that a journalist in the Leeds Mercury wrote that when Sunny Bank Mills thrives, Farsley thrives. We believe that this is as true now as it was then and, in turn, Farsley has restored ours.
William Gaunt, who runs the mill with his cousin John, added: “We are delighted to welcome these two exceptional companies to Sunny Bank. Both have clients across the globe and have established superb reputations over the years. We are proud they have chosen our mill as their Yorkshire base.”
Paula Jepmond of Fusion By Design, an award-winning interior design company, explained why the company had chosen Sunny Bank.
“The 2,000 sq ft unit we have taken is absolutely perfect for our requirements and the local facilities just add to the attraction. We love the location and vibrancy of Farsley and believe Sunny Bank Mills to be the heart of the village.
“We are local so were always aware of the mill but the investment the Gaunt family has made is fantastic, giving this historic mill a new lease of life.
“We specialize in interior design for the commercial and hospitality sectors and have just celebrated our 24th Birthday. We are a team of seven working all over the UK and have completed projects as far afield as Hong Kong and China.
“We are currently working on a project in Berlin and are looking forward to working with the same client throughout Europe over the next few years. We have always been based locally, originally starting in Bramley, then Rodley, Calverley and now Farsley. Being Leeds-based, we are perfectly located for working all over the UK.”
Meanwhile Colin Zhang of ATB Morley, who have relocated from Stanningley, commented: “The 1912 Mill is the landmark building of Sunny Bank Mills, with well-developed facilities and ample parking spaces. The glorious mill was founded in 1829 and has been redeveloped into a gorgeous complex; it’s the perfect place for ATB Morley, founded in 1897, to open our new chapter.
Colin explained that ATB Morley was one of the divisions of ATB Group UK Limited, Wolong Electric, which specializes in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty motors for use in underground mining under harsh operating conditions.
The company is recognized globally as pioneers in performance, winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2009 and 2012 and the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2010.
Both Paula Jepmond and Colin Zhang praised the Gaunts for their “incredibly helpful attitude and very warm welcome”.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, who visited Sunny Bank Mills in December, praised the mill for being a catalyst for the regeneration of Farsley, commenting: “It’s been so inspirational meeting small business owners. The range of small businesses here is fantastic and I’ve only managed to speak to a few. I have been especially impressed by the way in which the owners of Sunny Bank adapt their buildings to enable their tenants to grow.
“Small business owners working with like-minded people will find synergies and inspiration here, which is beautiful. This is an old mill which has brought people together and been the catalyst for more small businesses opening on the rest of Farsley Town Street. It is inspirational what has been achieved so far.”