Turner acquires former Ponden Mill HQ

THE former Yorkshire headquarters of home furnishings retailer Ponden Mill have been bought in a multi-million pound deal.

Ilkley-based Turner Commercial Developments bought the eight-acre site, which has been unoccupied for the last four years following the acquisition of the company, for an undisclosed sum.

Ponden Mill was bought by retail recovery specialist Hilco and hedge fund Agilo in November 2007.

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Turner Commercial Developments aims to restore the site’s status as a business location.

It plans to split a 180,000 sq ft building into up to seven smaller units, ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 sq ft and re-brand the site as Aireside Business Park.

A 37,500 sq ft unit in the building has already been sold by Turner Commercial Developments to hydraulic system and pump manufacturer C&C Hydraulics, a company currently based three miles away in Bingley, and a further two units are under offer.

The site also contains an 18,000 sq ft office building, with 100 parking spaces, which will be re-branded Aireside Business Centre and is suitable for single or multiple company occupation.

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James Turner, managing director of Ilkley-based Turner Commercial Developments, said: “We’ve been aware for some time of unfulfilled demand from local businesses for modern, quality space of the kind we’re offering.

“The very healthy level of interest we’re already seeing indicates how worthwhile our investment is likely to be.”

Law firm Gordons, led by commercial property partner Paul Young, advised Turner on the deal. Mr Young has previously advised Turner on the purchase, development and sale of 17 business units at Ryefield Court, Silsden, in early 2009 and more recently on the acquisition, letting and sale of Sunwin House in Ilkley, now occupied by retail chain Boyes.

He said: “All of the units will offer prestigious modern space in a location that’s ideal for fast access to Bradford and Skipton.

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“We have every confidence that the success achieved by James and his team at his other developments will be repeated here.”

Mike Atkinson, of land and property consultancy Atkinson Associates, acquired the site for Turner and is now its selling agent.