Burberry places Leeds factory plans on hold

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Burberry Leeds

Burberry has shelved plans for its new £50 million manufacturing site in Leeds.

The luxury fashion retailer said its plans to  revive the Grade 1 listed Temple Works mill had expired and a decision on whether to build a new factory next door has been delayed for at least another year.

The news comes despite an uptick in sales, with a better-than-expected like-for-like sales rise of four percent for the first quarter ending June 30 — thanks to the weakened pound driving sales both in the UK and in China.

The Leeds factory, which would have created 200 new jobs, is reportedly too expensive for Burberry to fully renovate.

The retailer is now understood to be eyeing other options, such as developing the land next to its current sites at Castleford in Yorkshire or to refurbish its existing factories.

READ MORE:  Burberry‘s new CEO starts strong with Q1 growth

Despite this, Burberry’s finance boss Julie Brown has said that the iconic British brand was still committed to Leeds, highlighting how it was in the process of moving around 300 head office jobs from London to the northern city.

She also said plans for the Temple Works facility continue to remain under review for the next year, as the development meant a “great deal of investment” from the company.

“We are committed to Leeds but with such an important project we are thinking through our plans,” Brown said.

“The option on that building has lapsed but we will assess our options over the next year or so. We will take our time, there is no urgency. It‘s all still under review.”

The global retail chain first announced plans to build a new Leeds factory in November 2015, with plans to replace its current sites at Castleford, West Yorkshire, and Cross Hills, North Yorkshire, and moving all 800 of its employees to the new site.

However, Burberry has refurbished both the Castleford and Cross Hills sites in the past year.

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