Land deal kept Brown in Kirklees

KIRKLEES Council helped ensure an engineering firm stayed in the area by agreeing to buy part of their site, it has been revealed.
The authority’s Labour cabinet decided at a private meeting in August to purchase twothirds of the David Brown Gears base.
It came five months before the Huddersfield firm gained planning consent for new premises off Leeds Road in Mirfield.
The land, totalling 11 acres of David Brown's 17acre current home, is to be leased back to the firm at market rates for up to three years.
A price for the sale and leaseback arrangement has not yet been agreed and no money has changed hands so far.
The deal was dependent on David Brown Gears, who were searching for a new site to aid their expansion plans, staying in Kirklees.
It came to light in response to a freedom of information request made by Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield).
Whether moving to Mirfield was mentioned by Kirklees informally is not known, though a council spokesman denied any link.
He said: “The decision to select the Mirfield site and to submit a planning application was made by David Brown Gears themselves.
“The council’s agreement was only conditional on the company committing to locate their new facilities in Kirklees, not specifically at Mirfield.
“The council is keen to support major employers to create and protect local employment wherever possible.”
David Brown Gears, meanwhile, announced up to 75 jobs could be lost but 30 others created as it prepares for the Mirfield move.
Mirfield will be a base for the firm’s switch to making gears for wind turbines, meaning some other posts are under threat.
General manager Wayne Ball said: “We have to ensure we have the right capabilities and skills necessary to deliver our future growth plans.
“Regrettably, this will lead to some redundancies as the focus of the business shifts from traditional markets to expanding opportunities in renewables.”

Share this post