Luxury-goods maker Burberry has announced plans to develop a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and weaving facility in South Bank, Leeds. The proposal represents an initial investment of over £50m in the heart of Yorkshire and is expected to provide permanent employment for more than a thousand people. Work on the new site is due to begin in 2016 with a current completion date of 2019.
The proposed site will allow Burberry to continue working on its most popular product: the heritage trench coat. In Yorkshire where the brand has been manufacturing for over half a century. The proposal is divided into phases of development. The first one, announced today, will see an area of the south Bank site redeveloped to create a new facility that will offer increased capacity for trench coat production, more sustainable and efficient ways of manufacturing, and the potential to develop and produce other products at the site. Subsequent phases of development contain plans to restore and renew the Grade 1 listed Temple Works building.
“I am delighted to announce that the next chapter of Burberry manufacturing story will be right here in Yorkshire,” said Burberry Chief Creative and CEO Christopher Bailey. “Burberry is a proudly British brand and we are so excited that our plan for a new site in Leeds, means that we will continue to produce our most iconic product – the trench coat – in this wonderful part of the country for many years to come.”
The new facility will replace the two existing manufacturing and weaving centres in Castleford and Cross Hills, Yorkshire. As part of the proposals, Burberry will be facilitating their regeneration for the local communities. The plan is for all current teams from Castelford and Cross Hills to relocate to the new site, bringing all employees together under one roof.
Working with local and national government, the proposed production facility will provide:
-State-of-the-art facilities to enable increased production of the iconic trench coat
-Capacity to produce expanded outerwear categories
-Improved efficiency and sustainability within the production process
-A bespoke apprenticeship programme designed to preserve unique textile manufacturing skills in Yorkshire