Cefar has designs on historic ex-Emmerdale mill

The iconic 1912 Mill in Farsley, near Leeds, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed, has a new tenant.

Expanding Yorkshire digital design company Cefar has taken nearly 1,000 sq ft of quality office space on the second floor of the historic mill.

The mill, part of the Sunny Bank Mills complex, one of the most famous family-owned mills in Yorkshire, has been transformed into a 21st century business centre.

Sunny Bank Mills, situated in Town Street in the centre of Farsley, have been extensively renovated to provide quality space within an environment steeped in heritage for small and medium-sized businesses in Yorkshire. Altogether 62 companies are now on site, creating over 300 new jobs.

William Gaunt, joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse Ltd, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, commented: “We are delighted to welcome a successful company like Cefar Design to the community at Sunny Bank Mills. We believe the pedigree of business we attract is a testament to the quality of our £2 million refurbishment at the 1912 Mill.

“The 1912 Mill is one of the jewels in our crown. It is a striking building, which has been extensively modernised to provide an attractive combination of historic features and contemporary facilities. Other occupiers include Vitality Consulting, Jupiter Prestige Group and Powerhouse Digital Photography, but we still have 15,000 sq ft of prime office space to lease, including 665 sq ft on the second floor.

John Gaunt, joint managing director, added: “We are very proud to have achieved this significant letting and are looking forward to building on this success.”

Surinder Kalsi, managing director of Cefar, explained: “A combination of aspects attracted us to Sunny Bank Mills.  Primarily it was the need for more space as our 10-strong team has grown and is continuing to grow. With a bigger team and the company expanding, we felt Sunny Bank Mills would lend itself to the continuation of this. Looking at the tenants, we felt there would be the potential for networking opportunities alongside the inherent creative atmosphere within the complex.

“Working here is great. The building has a certain atmosphere and a feeling that you just can’t go out and buy or create from scratch. It has much more soul than a lifeless new build office block. Being a digital design company we appreciate the intricacies and complexities of combining the old mill with the new interior. Overall it looks and feels fantastic.

“As landlords, the Gaunts have done a fantastic job with the mill and have been helpful throughout our transition to the new studio. Again, the fact that it is a family-run business, as opposed to a lifeless corporate façade, is another aspect that makes the location not only unique but also aligns with our values.

“The move will allow Cefar to continue with our expansion plans, taking on more clients and expanding the team further. Alongside our new social media hire we are now looking for another digital designer to join our close knit creative team,” added Ms Kalsi.

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, commented: “It is great to see the ambitious plans for Sunny Bank Mills coming to fruition. I have worked closely with some of the team at the Mills, and it has always struck me how they understand that the Mills play a very special part in our area’s history. Their plans have meant that through creating a state of the art multi-purpose space, they have been able to attract a lot of new and modern businesses.

“At a time when the north of England, and particularly the Leeds area, is growing faster than before, Sunny Bank Mills are providing an excellent service to the community by employing so many people. They demonstrate the importance of connectivity to the wider area and the need for businesses to look to the future with sustainable jobs. I am sure that they will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Richard Bean, of Leeds-based property consultants JLL, commented: “The refurbishment of the 1912 Mill is a complete triumph, a wonderful balance of cutting edge modern office space in an environment rich in history and heritage. The attention to detail is stunning and the 1912 Mill now provides arguably the finest office space in the Leeds-Bradford corridor.

“This is one of the most significant mill regeneration projects currently being undertaken in Yorkshire. Steeped in history and with massive potential, Sunny Bank Mills is fast becoming one of the prime business locations in the West Leeds area,” said Mr Haigh.