A MAJOR office development planned for Huddersfield is attracting high levels of interest.
Planning permission has been given to convert the 19th century Folly Mills into 60,000sq ft of modern offices.
Dewsbury-based developer Jay Tee Group said it had received a "very encouraging" list of enquiries for the former woollen mill, which has been disused since 1993.
The group bought the property, which overlooks the river Colne at Folly Hall, from Amco plc for more than £1m in 2005.
Project director Paul Bailey said: "This is a tremendous development for Huddersfield.
"It will involve significant regeneration of the riverside area, creating new employment opportunities and raising the profile of Huddersfield as a major office destination in the region."
Mr Bailey said the scheme would provide 60,000sq ft of prime office space over five years, which could be leased or bought from £14.50 per sq ft or £165 per sq ft respectively.
The space could be divided into office units from 2,500sq ft upwards.
Said Mr Bailey: "We feel they will prove very attractive to professional services firms of all sizes, as well as the public sector.
"The interior of Folly Mills is absolutely stunning with vaulted ceilings, spiral staircases and exposed beams.
"It will be a wonderful place to work."
Mr Bailey said Jay Tee Group was now carrying out extensive refurbishment work before starting building on-site in the late spring with a 12 to 16-month construction period.
The scheme also has planning consent for a ground floor restaurant to serve businesses based at Folly Mills as well as the general public.
The development will feature a new steel and glass tower linking two mill buildings and an old engine house to create a single office building with underground parking for 200 vehicles.
The joint agents for the scheme are Eddisons and Michael Steel and Co.
Jason Metcalfe, of Eddisons, said: "There are a number of prestigious schemes being proposed for central Huddersfield.
"But Folly Mills will be the first to deliver the high-quality accommodation - so full of character - that is preferred by many modern businesses and organisations."
Alec Michael, of Michael Steel and Co, said: "There have already been a number of positive inquiries from local and regional companies for substantial space in the scheme.
"Given the lack of high-quality office space close to the town centre, we have no doubt that this development will be extremely successful."
Other schemes planned for Huddersfield include the Waterfront Quarter on the opposite side of the river to Folly Mills.
Developers plan a mix of offices, 487 flats and leisure facilities on land bordered by Chapel Hill, Manchester Road and the River Colne.
The proposal - one of the largest schemes ever for the town - includes a 50,000sq ft, 150-room hotel, almost 280,000sq ft of offices and 458,000sq ft of flats.
There will also be a cafe and restaurant, a crèche and gym and parking for 1,027 vehicles.
The site is owned by Sellers Engineers - which plans to move to a new site - Kirklees Council and British Waterways.