Burberry scraps plans to build factory in Leeds

Company’s enthusiasm for building new manufacturing site waned after Brexit vote

Burberry has scrapped plans for a new factory to produce its trademark trenchcoats in Leeds. The site had been the centrepiece of a vaunted £50m investment in its British manufacturing base.

The luxury brand announced the ambitious plan in 2015 but has now confirmed that the 4-hectare (10-acre) site in Leeds is to be sold off after several years of stalling in the wake of the Brexit vote. The scheme was the brainchild of Burberry’s last chief executive, Christopher Bailey.

The proposed factory would have enabled the company to produce the coats and the gabardine cloth they are made from under one roof. At present, they are made by an 800-strong workforce at two separate sites in Castleford and Keighley.

Burberry planned to use the new facility to triple its UK production run of 5,000 coats a week and create 200 additional jobs. But the company’s enthusiasm for the project, dubbed Project Artisan, began to wane in 2016 as it considered the impact of the UK’s decision to exit the EU would have on the group.

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