If you’ve visited Croft Myl you’ll know our imposing yet quirky building occupies a triangular plot at the junction of two roads.
The building’s industrial past is clear for all to see, but few people realise it was once the centre of an international fashion operation and has long been a hub for businesses in the area.
Built in the early 1900s, Croft Myl was owned by fashion firm Harella, run by entrepreneurial tailor Lew Harris.
In its heyday workers would be bussed in from all over the area to work at the factory, producing clothing for sale in the UK and abroad. Halifax was the perfect location for the firm, being the centre of the woollen industry and close to Leeds.
Harella did things differently to other firms, using live models to quality-assure the garments – meaning they had to wear warm winter coats in the heat of summer and light summer dresses in the depths of winter!
Lew Harris is also credited with being at the forefront of expanding the range of women’s clothing sizes available.
The firm was bought by Barnsley-based S.R. Gent and Co in 1979 in a deal said to be worth £3m. The factory closed the same year, having been based at Croft Myl since the 1940s.
More recently – Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Starting its association with businesses in Halifax, from 1990 the building was occupied by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber represents businesses from Wakefield, Halifax and Huddersfield and from Croft Myl ran a job club, certified export documents and delivered a range of training. Croft Myl was known as a business advice centre until 2008 when the Chamber closed the doors. The building stood pretty much empty until current owners Vicky and Brian Nolan spotted its potential.
A new chapter
When looking for a new office for their electrical testing firm, Circuit Electrical, husband and wife team Brian and Vicky Nolan were frustrated by the huge numbers of characterless, magnolia offices.
They stumbled across Croft Myl and realised that not only would it make a great base for their existing business, but, with a little vision (and a lot of money!), it could be transformed into a thriving business centre once again.
In 2015 Vicky and Brian collected the keys and started a £1m renovation of the first three floors of the building. Opening its doors on 21st December, Croft Myl was soon home to 27 businesses, ranging from one-person craft businesses such as cake maker Jayne’s Cakes and Bakes and wedding stationery designer Julia Eastwood, to larger businesses such as Wright Angle Marketing and Talent-i.
The future’s bright
Having completed the renovations of the first few floors, Vicky and Brian, who manage the building day-to-day, has their sights set higher – all the way up to the loft.
Architects drawings has been drawn up for a conversion to create a further 9,000 sq ft of space to add to the 38,000 sq ft in the main building.
Not one to do things the same way as everyone else, Vicky and the architects have also dreamed up a roof garden complete with a slide to access the loft offices!
Work will start very soon and should be complete by the end of autumn (2017). There’s already a list of companies wanting to take space in the loft. Well who wouldn’t want to get to their desk by slide?!
For a tour of Croft Myl to see our colourful offices and vibrant meeting rooms – available to hire from just £15/hour) give us a call on 01422 413035.