A MAJOR mill development in Huddersfield is now 80% occupied.

Folly Hall Mills is close to being fully occupied following the decision by insurance, pensions and investments group LV= to open offices in the award-winning development.

LV= is taking more than 13,000sq ft of office space at the £8m Folly Hall Mills on the banks of the River Colne, creating up to 75 jobs.

Huddersfield-based developer the Jay Tee Group has converted the historic 19th century grade II former woollen mill, which had been derelict for 27 years, into 60,000sq ft of prime office space.

Phase one of the development, comprising 16,900sq ft of offices, has already been fully let to Huddersfield companies ESTL and Above & Beyond. Phase two, featuring almost 40,000sq ft of new office space, now only has 13,000sq ft of office space still available to lease. Rents are in the region of £15 per sq ft.

The development will also boast its own cafe bar – Café 1844 – which is due to open shortly on the ground floor of the larger mill.

Paul Bailey, project director at the Jay Tee Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome LV= to Folly Hall Mills, which is a tremendous development for Huddersfield.

“The fact that a national insurance company of LV=’s stature is coming here is a fantastic endorsement of our scheme.

“Folly Hall has involved significant regeneration of the riverside area, creating new employment opportunities and raising the profile of Huddersfield as a major office destination in the region.

“Now Folly Hall is 80% let and there is only 13,000 sq ft of prime office space left in the main mill over two floors, which can be leased or bought. This space can be divided into office units from 2,000sq ft upwards. We feel they will prove very attractive to professional services firms of all sizes, as well as to the public sector.

LV= owns road rescue company Britannia Rescue, which is already based in Huddersfield town centre. Folly Hall will be the company’s new home from July. As well as the Britannia Rescue management team, LV= will open a new 24-hour call centre in Folly Hall to deal with both calls from LV= car insurance customers who have been involved in an accident, and Britannia Rescue breakdown calls.

The 24-hour service will also be expanded to LV= home insurance customers during 2010 and the new office is set to become the company’s primary 24-hour call centre.

Simon Stevens, general manager of LV= in Huddersfield, said: “We are delighted to be expanding in the town.”

The joint agents for the scheme are Eddisons and Michael Steel and Co. Alec Michael, partner at Michael Steel, said: “There are a number of prestigious schemes proposed for central Huddersfield, but Folly Hall is the first to deliver the high-quality accommodation – so full of character – that is preferred by many modern businesses and organisations.”