A DERELICT industrial site in Otley has been transformed into a ‘showpiece industrial estate’.

Andrew Hillas Properties has invested around £2 million since buying the former Ideal Standard facility on Ilkley Road in September, 2018.

The work has involved creating 19 industrial units, in a variety of sizes, on the 5.5 acre plot. A spokesperson for the Hillas family said: “We spent the first few months clearing the site as it had been sitting empty and in dereliction for over three years.

“While clearing the site we soon realised it would have to be a full refurbishment - this was a once in a lifetime chance to create a showpiece industrial estate on the western approach to Otley.

“We set about drawing up plans whilst communicating with the local community about how best the redevelopment would benefit them. We realised that the best use was to have commercial units in varying sizes to accommodate all variety of businesses, bringing new jobs to the town.”

The units at Otley Mills range from 800 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft and during construction the company tried to re-use materials while making the units as energy efficient as possible.

More than 70 per cent of the available space has now been let and the company is predicting a bright future. The spokesperson added: “The interest from businesses either looking to expand or relocate has been impressive and we have even decided to make Otley Mills our permanent head office.

“Having brought over 100 jobs to Otley we look forward to filling the vacant units and have the phoenix that is Otley Mills rise from the ashes.”

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) added: “Local councillors are constantly fighting to preserve and expand local employment so people have the chance to work near home and avoid a long, polluting commute. This high quality refurbishment of the old mill site will make a significant contribution to the local economy and I wish it every success.”