A MAJOR leisure and retail scheme for Greetland has been given the go-ahead by planners.

And developers believe the plans for the imposing Victoria Mills would lead to a number of new business opportunities and jobs at the site.

Owners BW Sipp Trustees Ltd will take over part of the mill complex that is no longer required by the well-established Andy Thornton Architectural Antiques Company, tenants of the building.

They would create three large shops on the ground floor and create a bar, wine bar, restaurant or other retail opportunities on the first floor of the mill building.

Andy Thornton Ltd will continue to remain in situ at the mill’s upper three floors.

Calderdale planners approved the application which was supported by the wider community and had no objectors.

Charles Tolley, managing director of Andy Thornton Ltd, said: “From our point of view there is capacity here that we no longer require and we’re supported by our landlord who is leading the redevelopment.

“It’s a good example of businesses working together to help each other and to improve the situation for each other and create business opportunities for others and improve the West Vale area.”

The first phase will involve the demolition of Low Mill which will open up the space for a car park.

It will also open up the main mill to passers-by, providing a clear view of the partly-hidden historical asset.

Then three retail units will be built and the existing space not needed by Andy Thornton Ltd will be put to use for other businesses.

The scheme will make the site a destination location and Mr Tolley says he believes the plans will be positive for the company which provides furniture, decorative lighting, architectural metalwork, wood carvings and decorative accessories to the hospitality industry.

He added: “This will be positive for us. It will make the mill a second venue destination for people who visit us or other businesses.

“It will provide retail or entrepreneurial opportunities in West Vale which is a lovely village setting.”

The mill dates back to the mid-19th Century and was built as a cotton mill on the Black Brook running through Greetland and West Vale.

It was first occupied by James Sutcliffe and Sons.

Andy Thornton Ltd was established in 1975 when entrepreneurs Andy and Kate Thornton began exporting architectural antiques to restaurants and bars worldwide.

The firm now employs 160 people globally and Victoria Mills in Stainland Road is its flagship base.