Leeds & West Yorkshire

Burberry drops Leeds Temple Works restoration plans

Temple Works Image copyright Google
Image caption Plans to restore Temple Works, a Grade I listed building which was previously a flax mill, have been dropped by Burberry

Fashion retailer Burberry has dropped plans to restore a Grade I listed building which it intended to use for a new factory in Leeds.

A spokesperson for the luxury brand said it was too expensive and time-consuming to renovate Temple Works.

Proposals for the £50m manufacturing and weaving facility creating more than 200 jobs are still on hold while Burberry considers its future plans.

The news comes as the retailer unveiled rising first quarter sales.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption Luxury fashion brand Burberry says plans for its £50m manufacturing and weaving facility creating more than 200 jobs in Leeds are still on hold

Chief finance officer Julie Brown said: "We have decided not to push ahead with the Temple Works building. We have let the option lapse."

But the company told the BBC it was "still looking at land" adjacent to the building while it was "continuing to think through our plans" for the factory.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the company remained "committed to the city and the region".

'Exceptional' performance

On Wednesday, it reported a 3% increase in retail sales to £478m in the three months to 30 June, while like-for-like sales rose 4%, driven by demand from China and the UK.

Burberry, best known for its trench coats and distinctive checked patterns, announced its intention for a new facility in Leeds South Bank in November 2015.

However in April the group said it was "taking a moment to think through" its plans despite an "exceptional" performance in the UK.

The following month it revealed 300 jobs across finance, HR and procurement, customer service and IT would be relocated from its London offices to Leeds in a bid to save £100m.

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