12 September 2016

Sites steeped in history: Lomeshaye Business Village

Lomeshaye Business Village, situated in Nelson, has a rich history that dates back to 1780.

Now a thriving hub of business activity, our Lomeshaye Business Village in Nelson, near Burnley, is the oldest surviving industrial site in the town, built under the reign of George III in 1780.

Situated within Lomeshaye Village conservation area, the site was originally a water-powered worsted spinning mill, built by the woollen manufacturer, wool comber and merchant, Richard Ecroyd.  Richard was one of three brothers who spearheaded the region’s wool industry, bringing employment and investment to the area. 

Their products were sold locally as well as through large markets in Halifax and Bradford and later steam power was added to the site to increase productivity.  By 1890 the company was exporting worldwide to countries including China, Italy, Brazil, the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia.

Lomeshaye Mills comprised 250,000 sq ft of buildings over an 11-acre site within the beautiful Lancashire countryside, where at the mill’s peak productivity in the Victorian times up to 1,200 staff worked at 2,000 looms.  The finished Leeds Liverpool Canal passed close to the mill and later the railway, which was ideal for exporting finished goods.

As with all our sites of historic interest, we work hard to protect the mill’s original features which help to bring character and beauty to our customers’ work environment.  Original craftsmanship which can still be seen and enjoyed at the site include its 200ft octagonal stone chimney, vaulted brick arches and decorative stonework featuring scrolls and Greek acanthus leaves.

The site remained in the ownership of the Ecroyds throughout the Victorian era, with the sandstone mill being expanded significantly to keep up with demand and its profits being used to build amenities such as a church, school and shop for staff, as well as offering other benefits such as sick pay and educational grants.  The family also built private gas works to provide light for the mill and workers’ cottages and developed a good sanitation system and private reservoir.

But following an economic slump, the mill was closed in 1933.  In the following decades, it went through numerous uses, including a rubber factory, a storage unit during the war and a surgical and toiletry supplies factory, before being reinvented as a business centre in 1989.

Bizspace took over the site in December 2003 and today Lomeshaye Business Village is home to 46 companies, including manufacturers, waste management firms, charities, upholsterers, a dance studio and a café, as well as many more.

Some of the longest serving customers are Ace Personnel Recruitment, owned by Keith Lamb and Jacqueline Nicholson, which has had its office at the centre since 1998, and Lomeshaye Village Day Nursery, run by Louise Wilkinson since 2002.  The nursery has recently raised more than £6,000 for Pendle Hospice by hosting a summer fundraising ball.

Business Centre Manager Kirstie McClelland has worked at the site for 21 years in various roles, taking on her current position in 2007.

“I love the variety of the job, meeting new people and getting the buzz of completing sales to increase occupancy,” Kirstie says.

“We are currently at 85% occupancy, with all industrial units full and just some office spaces vacant.

“Lomeshaye is a great place to work and we are always looking for new ideas to help create a strong community spirit.  For example, we hold Body Shop parties throughout the year and get involved with charity events.”

The business centre, which is close to junction 12 of the M65 and offers three free of charge car parks, will shortly be kitted out with a full new roof as well as an internal renovation which will introduce our new corporate branding to the site.

The site offers offices, serviced offices, storage units, workshops and industrial units, as well as virtual offices.  It also has two meeting rooms for hire by the hour, half day or day.

For more information contact Kirstie on 01282 602 047 or email [email protected]