South Yorkshire investor looks to give new lease of life to historic site

A historic former factory in a Penistone has been acquired by a new owner who plans to redevelop the site.

The former David Brown site once employed 1,500 local people but shut at the end of 2020 when its owner concentrated production at another UK plant.

Now the four-acre site on Green Road has been bought by Barnsley-based property business Fairbank Investments which hopes to redevelop it to bring employment to the town.

Opened by shipmaker Cammell Laird in the late nineteenth century, the site was mothballed in 1930 but taken over by industrialist Sir David Brown in 1935.

Brown’s business empire included tractor and gearbox manufacturing operations with carmaker Aston Martin adding his his initials DB to multiple models of the luxury vehicles, including the iconic DB-5 made famous by James Bond in Goldfinger.

He set up foundry, pumps and fabrication operations on the site in Penistone which produced bullet-proof castings during the Second World War and later specialised in manufacturing pumps for the global oil and gas industry.

Family-owned and run Fairbank Investments agreed a deal to purchase the site after the plant closed and has yet to finalise its plans for the former factory.

Alex Sewell of Fairbank Investments, said: “This is an historic site that has given so much already in terms of employment for generations and generations of people in Penistone and the surrounding areas.

“We would like to bring back something to benefit the town and, as a local company, we are keen to discuss opportunities with those who might have a positive use for it.

“There is also the possibility of the site being redeveloped for mixed use such as a gym, storage facility, trade counter or housing, obviously subject to the relevant planning permissions,” she added.