Burberry confirms it has scrapped plans to build a new factory in Leeds

Burberry
Riccardo Tisci for Burberry

Burberry has confirmed that plans to build a new factory in Leeds have been scrapped; the new £50m manufacturing site was announced in 2015 and then put on hold in 2016 after the Brexit vote.

The British luxury house has now confirmed that the 10-acre site that was to house it will instead be sold.

Chief operating officer and financial officer Julie Brown told The Yorkshire Post: “We can confirm that we have decided to sell the land we own in central Leeds.”

“After a detailed review, we concluded that the site is not suitable to support our plans. We remain committed to Yorkshire and the UK, and as part of this we will continue to invest in our existing manufacturing operations in Castleford and Keighley, home to our iconic Burberry Heritage trench coat.”

Under the brand’s previous CEO and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey, Burberry had planned to bring its Castleford and Keighly sites under one roof and triple its capacity to the production of 5,000 trench coats per week. The move would have created 200 new jobs, with the new site employing 1,000 overall.

However the uncertainty that ensued following the Brexit vote in June 2016 meant the plans were paused. Bailey left Burberry at the start of 2018 to be replaced by a new CEO Marco Gobbetti and new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci.

In 2017 Burberry did establish a new “shared services” office in Leeds with a number of roles in finance, HR and procurement, as well as some in customer service, relocated from its London office in Horseferry Road in Victoria.

At the time it was expected that the company might reduce its Horseferry Road presence from two buildings to one in a bid to cut costs but it was recently revealed that it would be keep both buildings.