Burberry to sell site as it abandons Leeds factory plans

Fashion giant Burberry has confirmed that it will not be moving manufacturing to a Leeds site, dropping plans to develop a 10-acre site next to Temple Works.

The factory would have been the Northern manufacturing base for its trademark trenchcoats, bringing production under one roof. The coats are currently made on two sites located in Castleford and Keighley, where production will remain.

The site would have allowed the company to hire another 200 people and triple production. It currently makes 5,000 a week in the UK.

Julie Brown, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, said: “We can confirm that we have decided to sell the land we own in central Leeds. After a detailed review, we concluded that the site is not suitable to support our plans. We remain committed to Yorkshire and the UK, and as part of this we will continue to invest in our existing manufacturing operations in Castleford and Keighley, home to our iconic Burberry Heritage trench coat. We will also continue to grow our shared services centre in Leeds, which opened in 2017.”

Plans for the site were first revealed in 2015, with a completion date set for 2019.

Hints about the move have been dropped over the past few years following the Brexit vote.

In early 2017 Burberry let a development option lapse on the Grade I listed Temple Works building and it is now owned by developers CEG.

The launched a Leeds office at 6 Queen Street in 2017, which houses 400 staff, including its finance, HR, procurement, customer service and IT teams.