A former Victorian mansion is to become the new headquarters for a growing company – and a collection of fledgling firms.

Orchard Facilities Management (FM) has bought Independence House in Huddersfield as it gears up for growth over the next five years.

The three-storey property at the junction of Halifax Road and Holly Bank Road, Lindley, will house Orchard FM and its charitable arm, Henderson Firstfruits. It plans to move to Independence House from its current premises at Park Road, Elland, next month.

The firm employs 30 people and expects to create a further 18 jobs in the next three years.

Managing director Gareth Henderson, who founded Orchard FM in 2005, said the new premises would allow him to realise his plans for the business and achieve a long-held ambition to provide “a unique environment” for start-up businesses in Calderdale and Kirklees.

“First and foremost Independence House will be the headquarters for Orchard Facilities Management and will give us the space we need to grow our team and become a national player in the FM industry with a head office here in Kirklees,” he said.

Orchard unveils growth plans

But Gareth also plans to set up a growth incubator in the building to help start-ups establish themselves and thrive.

“When I started out in business I was fortunate enough to work in an incubator-style setting within a charitable organisation and I appreciated the support given to me by some of the more experienced business people who shared the building,” said Gareth.

Gareth Henderson, of Orchard Energy in Elland
Gareth Henderson, of Orchard Energy in Elland

“Independence House is large enough to allow us to create serviced office space for new businesses with the right culture and environment to help them develop. Orchard FM’s directors will be on site and available to sit down and have a coffee with business owners to share ideas and expertise and help them tackle some of the challenges they may face in their early years.”

Independence House will also offer bigger office units and full floors which will be let to larger and more established businesses.

Gareth said: “By developing Independence House as a vibrant business centre we hope to create significant employment opportunities in Kirklees and the surrounding area and make a positive impact on the community.”

Orchard unveils growth plans

Orchard FM provides services such as waste management, IT managed services, pest control and maintenance. It works with local clients including 3D visualisation firm Virtual Resolution, glass maker Specialist Glass Products and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice as well as Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and the Devonshire Group of hotels.

Independence House consists of the original Victorian mansion and a three-storey extension. The property was previously occupied by financial services firm Sesame but has been unoccupied for some time.