Business proposal set to breathe new life into derelict Victorian mills

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AMBITIOUS plans have been submitted to create a base for entrepreneurs and new technology businesses within two disused Victorian mills in a West Yorkshire valley.

Hartley Property Group has submitted plans to Kirklees Council for Globe Mills in Slaithwaite, two large mill buildings in Huddersfield’s Colne Valley which have been vacant for the last seven years.

It is proposed that the top three floors of both mills will form part of the ‘Globe Innovation Centre’ which will support small and growing enterprises, primarily in the technology sector.

It is hoped the lower floors will attract cafes and independent shops. The scheme also proposes space for a doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, nursery and various offices.

The plans say that one of the buildings could become the headquarters of clothing company Crombie, which is owned by the Hartley Group.

A proposed ‘Artisan Hall’ will become a “platform for local arts and crafts and speciality foods and goods to be sold in a setting that perfectly complements this use. This has been successfully implemented in many of the refurbished Victorian mills across Yorkshire,” according to papers submitted to the council.

In a design and access statement, the company says that the site represents not only the largest underused property in Slaithwaite but also represents over 60 per cent of all underused properties in the whole of the village centre.

“It is suggested that redevelopment of this site represents the most important catalyst in the village centre enhancement for Slaithwaite. Without redevelopment deterioration of the village centre will continue.”

It adds: “The mixed use proposals as part of this application seek to revitalise the village centre by providing new employment in the area to encourage local level interaction with existing retail and services.”

The company says the area is already an established centre for sustainable technology with 45 businesses in this sector operating within 15 miles of Globe Mills. The developer expects the Globe Innovation Centre to grow this sector by up to 50 per cent. Consultation on the plans runs until June 8.