Fashion brand Burberry has abandoned plans to redevelop Leeds’ Grade I-listed Temple Works into a new weaving facility - a much-anticipated scheme designed by Stanton Williams
The 2012 Stirling Prize-winning practice had been commissioned to bring together two existing factories in Castleford and Cross Hills on a brownfield site in Holbeck, south of Leeds station.
But in a trading update yesterday, Burberry’s chief operating and financial officer Julie Brown said the company would not be pursuing the Temple Works element of the development.
However, she reaffirmed Burberry’s commitment to a development in Leeds, and the AJ understands that the fashion company owns other nearby land on the city’s so-called South Bank.
‘We have decided not to push ahead with the Temple Works building. We have let the option lapse,’ said Brown.
’We have a programme of refurbishment for our other sites in Yorkshire. We are very committed to Leeds. We have chosen Leeds as the home for Burberry Business Services. We looked at overseas sites, but because of our heritage in Yorkshire we chose Leeds.’
Before dropping the plans, which Stanton Williams had been working on since April 2016, Burberry had said the new £50 million facility would employ 1,000 people and become the main production centre for the brand’s heritage trench coat.
A spokesperson for Burberry said that the company remained ‘committed to the city and the region as indicated by our recent announcement to open a shared services office in the centre of the city in October’.
Later stages of the development programme would have involved restoring the empty Temple Works building, an Egyptian-style former mill designed by the Bonomi Brothers in 1840, which was listed among the Victorian Society’s 10 most endangered buildings six years ago.
Paul Williams of Stanton Williams
’I would like to confirm that Stanton Williams has been working with Burberry on the Leeds factory project. Burberry hasn’t renewed an option to acquire the Grade I listed Temple Works building following a detailed appraisal of the building, which was one part of our wider masterplan proposal. Burberry is continuing to think through its plans for a manufacturing and weaving facility in Leeds.’