An imposing and historic Huddersfield mill is to go under the hammer.
And estate agents who are marketing it still believe its location opposite the soon to be defunct Huddersfield Sports Centre site is its big selling point, despite news that Tesco would no longer build a superstore there.
Huddersfield surveyors WalkerSingleton, who are taking the 1,129.88m sq (12,155 sq ft) property at 5-7 Old Leeds Road to auction on February 26, are confident new buyers will benefit from the area, which is home to several other businesses.
They also believe that the mill itself, which has four floors, has much potential, due to the substantial space and position in front of the Huddersfield Broad Canal running up to the Aspley Basin.
The mill was originally used as a canalside warehouse after it was built at the end of the 1800s and was struck by a fire in 1908.
But now, some 150 years later, it stands derelict and in ‘extremely poor’ condition since its previous owners, cardboard packagers, Beevers and Barrett, went bust in 2002.
Director of the property firm, Steve Malloy, said: “Although Tesco will not be developing the site opposite we are confident that there will be significant interest if the land were to be put back up for sale.
“The mill itself is in extremely poor condition but it’s good because there are so many angles to it and it is in a prime location in a mixed use area.
“We’ve already had a good level of interest in the property already.”
He remained uncertain whether the building, currently owned by a private buyer, will be kept or demolished if it finds a new owner and has given it a guide price of in between £100,000 and £125,000.
Huddersfield historian, Alan Brooke took a more sentimental view of the mill.
He believes it may have once been called Readfearns Mill, which changed hands several times.
He said: “I can’t make an issue of its history since I don’t know it for sure but it is in the same place of Fern Mills.
“From what I recollect it is of no great architectural merit, nevertheless, if it was demolished it would be another sad loss of for our much diminished textile industrial heritage.
“This is essential to the character of the town, especially if it also has a canal link.”
The current Sports Centre site will shut once the new Huddersfield Leisure Centre opens in the summer.