Here we are at the beginning of February, already a twelfth of the way through the new year. How time flies!! Christmas is a fast fading memory.
But for many businesses seeing out the old year and welcoming in the new is a time of optimism and excitement. For reflection and review. For planning and development. The year ahead is like a blank canvas and whether they’ve experienced a good year – or a bad one – the 1st of January presents the opportunity to start afresh.
This year at Wharfebank Mills we have had a flood of enquiries in December and January, from people who have decided to expand; to downsize; to start up a business; or from those who are planning for retirement and seeking smaller spaces. And we have had office units available to suit them all.
But, as we prepare to welcome a range of new businesses to Wharfebank Mills, we are still reaching out to others who may not yet be aware of the amazing facilities we have on site.
Are you looking to relocate in 2018? Does a good work/life balance matter to you? Is well-being important to you? If so, an office at Wharfebank Mills could be the answer.
We are situated close to Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate; well linked by road, rail and bus services; provide fast, reliable internet connectivity; have ample free car parking for tenants and visitors, but we are located in a picturesque, peaceful and tranquil setting.
Far from being a quiet back water, however, we are still just ‘a stone’s throw’ away from the rest of the world.
The History Behind Wharfebank Mills
There has been a mill on the banks of the river Wharfe in Otley since the 1700s but the current mill buildings date back to the 1780s. Originally owned by Wiliam Ackroyd, the company went into partnership with the Duncan and Rawson families in the early 1800s and became the largest employer in the town, employing around 850 people at one point, including children.
Ackroyd’s mills produced worsted material from their spinning mills and steam powered weaving looms and only ceased manufacture in 1983, when it became apparent that the industry was no longer viable.
The remaining owner in the 1980s, Ronnie Duncan, opted to turn the mill into offices and spent more than two decades upgrading and refurbishing the old mill buildings for use as modern offices, successfully saving these important historic buildings from demolition, and breathing a new lease of life into the site.
However, although still fit and healthy, Ronnie Duncan decided to retire in his late 80s, which involved selling the mill complex – now a thriving business park – to new owners.
And so ended an era.
But as one door closed, another opened when Talisman Properties (Otley) Limited, (a subsidiary of Pears International, one of the UK’s largest independent landlords), picked up the keys to Wharfebank Business Centre, their latest acquisition, in December 2016.
Since then they have enthusiastically and systematically renovated and upgraded the picturesque riverside buildings, just off Ilkley Road, Otley, to bring them up to 21st century standards. Local commercial agent, Mike Atkinson, of Atkinson Associates, was appointed to oversee the lettings of the vacant office units and to represent the landlord’s interests on site. Setting up an office at Wharfebank Mills, in addition to his offices in Leeds city centre.
Almost £500,000 has been invested in the estate in the first twelve months with:
Rebranding of Wharfebank Mills, as it is now known, with bright modern signage that enhances the site
New navigational boards and tenant directories
New roof tiles to replace the old worn tiles on part of the Wharfebank House roof, with the remainder to be completed in the Spring of 2018
A new fire alarm system
The profile of the site has been much improved by the demolition of the old Winding House, which was in a state of disrepair. A developer is now being sought to build out private housing on the old site, retaining the integrity of Ilkley Road, which is primarily residential.
The interior of Pegholme, the largest of the buildings at Wharfebank Mills, has been refurbished, giving it a modern industrial chic look
And communal break out areas, showers and bike stores have been provided to make life easier for tenants and visitors.
In 2018 plans have been drawn up to start refurbishment of the other buildings on site. So, investment and commitment to improvements continues.
Facilities at Wharfebank Mills
One of the most significant investments made by the former owners at Wharfebank Mills was the installation of a dedicated fibre optic line, directly to the site. This has future proofed the estate and shows an understanding of the requirements of businesses in an increasingly digital age. Particularly businesses operating in less urban environments.
There is often the perception that if offices are in a more rural location they may have slower broadband. This is not the case at Wharfebank Mills where there is high speed, reliable internet connectivity available to all tenants, with 100mbps upload and download speed as standard, with capacity for more if required.
There is ample free parking for tenants and visitors; a facilities manager on site; 24 hour access to buildings; CCTV security cameras; a bike store and communal break out areas.
On the A65 just outside Otley, Wharfebank Mills is only 13 miles from Leeds City Centre; 10 miles from Bradford; 13 miles from Harrogate, and less than 5 miles from Leeds Bradford airport. The A1M and the M62 are also easily accessible via the by-pass, which avoids going through Otley town centre.
A regular bus service links Otley with Leeds, Bradford and Ilkley (through Menston railway station), and a regular bus service stops outside Wharfebank Mills.
Local amenities in town are only a 15 minute walk away and Waitrose is just around the corner.
We have some vacant offices available to house from 2-50 members of staff. Units are adaptable to tenants’ requirements (subject to terms and conditions), and there are flexible lease terms available, dependant on length of lease.
If you would like to view the units we have for rent please visit our website at: www.wharfebankmills.co.uk/availability.
Alternatively, please call us on 01943 663207 to discuss your specific requirements and we can arrange a viewing at a time to suit.