A growing family business is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with a fully-let portfolio of commercial space – and a waiting list for some properties.
Commercial property company Towndoor Ltd, based at Meltham Mills, was founded by Stuart and Lucy Bamforth in April 1988.
The company started when Stuart and Lucy bought a significant portion of J.I. Case’s Meltham Mills factory, the former David Brown Tractors site.
Within four years the whole site had been developed into an industrial estate and was fully occupied by 38 individual companies, employing around 400 people.
Stuart passed away in 2002 aged 55 after a battle with cancer. Lucy was managing director for 26 years before she was succeeded by the couple’s son Dan in 2014.
Since then, the company has continued to grow and the Meltham Mills site now has 400,000 sq ft + of space with approximately 50 tenants.
In 1989, the company purchased a site from Allied Breweries in Netherton, which became Crosland Road Industrial Estate.
That was followed in 1993 by the purchase of what was known as the ‘S Block’ from the Case Corporation. This became a standalone warehouse and is now Concept House, home to emergency vehicle manufacturer Rosenbauer UK.
In March 1999, Towndoor bought land in Bent Ley Road in Meltham which was developed into Bent Ley Industrial Estate over the next nine years.
In 2013, Towndoor made a significant investment in the local community by taking ownership of Meltham Mills Reservoir making improvements and investing £750,000 in a new spillway.
The reservoir has become a crucial source of firefighting water for Meltham Mills Industrial Estate.
Towndoor’s acquisition of a 1.2-acre site in Lockwood in 2015 was a significant milestone for the company.
The location meant it would make an ideal commercial estate and an investment of £2 million created eight high-spec trade counter units. What became known as The Dyeworks was completed in 2016.
In 2015, Towndoor acquired and developed a £1 million state-of-the-art children’s day nursery at Armitage Bridge, which was previously the site of the Big Valley Garage, which moved to Meltham Mills.
Coming right up to date and in 2020 Towndoor embarked on a new development project to revamp a disused part of Meltham Mills Industrial Estate.
The site, formerly known as The Business Park, became the site of Lu’s Place, a chic and contemporary café.
The project was delayed due to the pandemic but the premises finally opened in March 2022. Run by Towndoor’s sister company Bamforth Leisure Ltd, the café has become a popular meeting place for the local community, for both business and leisure.
Managing director Dan said: “My family and I are immensely proud of Towndoor and our team. Our range of commercial properties to suit all size and budget requirements, paired with our superior ‘one stop shop’ service, without the need for any agent or third party makes us stand out from the crowd.
“Our obsession for detail and keeping our sites immaculately well maintained including our older properties sets us apart from competition. Our properties are let on a part repairing and renewing basis which is a little different from the commercial norm.
“We want to take the hassle away from our tenants of having to maintain their property, carry out inspections, arrange utility or waste contracts etc., we do all that for them – allowing them to really focus on their business.
“We pride ourselves on honest and meaningful relationships with our clients, whether it’s just a simple annual check in to see both the condition of their unit and business or working with them on a more regular basis to find a larger/smaller space with us as the needs of their business changes.
“Towndoor’s entire portfolio is currently fully let with a waiting list for some size properties, despite challenging economic conditions.
“We are not the typical agent or landlord that hands out a set of keys in exchange for a signed contract, only reaching out at the end of the term.
“We are there for the duration whenever a client might need us. Some of our tenants have been with us 30 plus years, with others moving into a small unit but now occupying several.
“Nothing makes me smile more than driving by a vacant property owned by a greedy landlord with weeds and rubbish all over – our market is strong and if you offer quality affordable space with five-star service, everyone involved can be a winner. Here’s to the next 35 years!”