Burberry shelves plans for future Leeds factory

Burberry has called off plans for its new 50 million pound manufacturing site in Leeds.

The new manufacturing and weaving facility, located in a former flax mill in South Bank, Leeds, was set to open in 2019. However, Burberry confirmed on Wednesday that it had allowed its option on the Grade 1 listed Temple Works building in Leeds expire. The move comes a year after the luxury fashion house puts its plan for the new factory on hold,following Brexit.

The factory, which would have created 200 new jobs, is understood to have been too expensive for Burberry to fully renovate. Burberry is still said to be mulling over future options to develop the land next to its current sites at Castleford in Yorkshire or refurbish its existing factories.

Julie Brown, Chief Financial Officer at Burberry insisted that this did not mean Burberry was not committed to the area, as the luxury fashion house is in the process of moving approximately 300 head office roles from London to Leeds.

“We have decided not to push ahead with the Temple Works Building,” said Brown on Wednesday. Instead, Burberry is set to take it time and assess it options for the future, with plans for the facility set to remain under review for the next year as the move called for a “great deal of investment” from the company.

Burberry first announced plans to build a new factory in Leeds in late 2015, aiming to replace its current two sites at Castleford, West Yorkshire, and Cross Hills, North Yorkshire. The luxury fashion house aimed to move all 800 of its employees to the new facility.

The announcement comes as Burberry posted its first quarter results for the three months to June 30, 2017. The fashion house reported a 3 percent increase in retail revenue to 478 million pounds 4 percent increase in like-for-like sales.

Temple Works, Leeds

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