A mill regeneration project which secured £5.6 million in Government Levelling Up cash is still not certain to go ahead.

The large-scale restoration of the derelict New Mills in Marsden village centre remains in the balance with developers struggling to make the project financially viable.

Despite being awarded £5.6 million from the Government with £11.7 million in private sector funding, plans remain on the drawing board.

The 1.5-hectare mill site off Brougham Road, made up of several buildings, is owned by the Crowther family. It has been empty for 20 years and has fallen into decay and disrepair.

A previous planning application to restore the mill in 2006 was never implemented and permission has since expired.

Public consultation of what the people of Marsden want to see done with the mill has been launched.

The development team has yet to submit a formal planning application but took a pre-application document to Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee to ask for councillors’ views on what should happen.



The meeting was told that almost all the options for the development had so far proved unviable but the development team remained confident, as the economy improved and interest rates eased, that the sums could be made to add up.

The aim is for a mixed use development combining business, retail or offices and flats. Some buildings may have to be demolished.

Planning consultant Matthew Sheppard told the meeting: “The Crowther family have owned New Mills for generations and they’ve been on a long journey with this site.

“The buildings are falling further into disrepair and it’s becoming a liability both for them and for Marsden.

“We start from a position of retaining as many buildings as possible and work back to find a proposal that is viable.”

He added: “If we can’t make it work financially, then the default option will be to do nothing which will probably lead to the buildings falling down, becoming even more of an eyesore and just becoming a liability for everyone.

“That isn’t a great outcome for the applicant or for Marsden and we really want to avoid that happening.”

Colne Valley Labour councillor Harry McCarthy said development of New Mills was a “great opportunity for Marsden” and spoke of the benefits for employment and housing in the village.

He said doing nothing wasn’t an option and added: “Doing nothing means actively deciding to allow the mills to continue to decay and actively leaving what is effectively a massive hole in the centre of an otherwise thriving village.”

The committee was generally supportive of the development.


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