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Latest acquisition for Baildon business park

Canvasman's Chris Salisbury (left) with Mark Taylforth of Pendle Russells

The firm, which designs and makes bespoke textile products including canopies, outdoor coverings, shades and boat covers, has acquired the 8,800 sq ft Unit 5 at the development on Otley Road.

The business, established in 1996, has relocated its 22 employees from premises in Crow Lane, Otley, to the purpose-built facility with the help of grants from the Textiles Growth Programme and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. The move will allow the team to double in size over the next three years, and recruitment is already underway.

Director Chris Salisbury said: “We’re growing at more than 25 per cent a year and needed significantly more space to continue that growth and push forward even further. Without a move, we’re unable to take on more staff or develop the new product lines, so it became essential to find the right place. It’s taken more than three years to find somewhere offering enough space for future growth, and was close to our existing workforce.

“This business park is ideal as it’s in a great catchment area for recruitment of skilled employees, and the transport links are perfect for our existing staff and supply chain. We also like that we’re on a business park with like-minded companies, all focused on innovation and growth, benefitting from and investing into the local economy.”

Canvasman is the seventh business to move into the business park. More than 120,000 sq ft of industrial space has already been built, and the business park is at 75 per cent capacity, with another 21 per cent currently in negotiations.

Planning has also been secured for the final phase of buildings at the 15-acre site. Permission has been granted for the construction of Plot 1, 22,000 sq ft, and Plot 7, 17,000 sq ft which are set to begin in the new year.

Plot 1 will be a terrace of eight hybrid units of between 2000 sq ft and 5000 square foot, with offices upstairs and workshop space downstairs, seven of which are already under offer. Plot 7 will be a terrace of six units – three at 2000 sq ft and three at 4000 sq ft, all are still available.

Chris and Mark outside Canvasman's new home in Baildon

The layout and design have been determined by the demand for space at the business park, which has come predominately from small to medium sized local firms looking to expand or move to purpose-built premises.

Mark Taylforth, of developer Pendle Russells, said: “Businesses in this area are crying out for premises of this quality in this location, that’s clear from the discussions we’re having with buyers. The fact that we have seven already under offer before they’ve been built, bears that out. Although the original intention was for Plot 7 to be a large single unit, the strength of the market from smaller businesses for space under 5,000 sq ft demanded that we revise those plans and seek to reflect that market.”

Agent Richard Heslop of Dale Eddison Commercial secured the deal with Canvasman. He added: “The area north west of Leeds has been starved of new commercial development and this business park is filling a large gap in that market, particularly for SMEs within the manufacturing and distribution sector. The site is attractive due to its accessibility to the region’s transport infrastructure for both logistics and employees, and there is a large skilled and semi-skilled labour market to tap into. Many business owners also live in this area and appreciate the chance to own a purpose-built facility on their doorstep. The opportunity to commission a bespoke design and build to their own specification has been the icing on the cake which has resulted in the success so far.”

The remaining units at the Sapper Jordan Rossi Park are being marketed by agents Dale Eddison Commercial and Knight Frank.

Sapper Jordan Rossi Park, formerly the Baildon Business Park, is a £15 million development being delivered by Pendle Russells, a joint venture between Manchester-based Russells Construction and Lancashire’s Pendle Projects. The site has been brought forward by the Airedale Partnership and Bradford Council, in keeping with the Airedale Masterplan. Existing occupiers include: precision-engineering firm Produmax, medical equipment manufacturer Anetic Aid, John Ayrey Die Casts, West Yorkshire Glazing and Laxtons yarn manufacturer.