A landmark is vanishing

ONE of Calderdale's most iconic textile landmarks is disappearing.

Demolition is well under way at Gannex Mill, Elland, to make way for 65 low-cost homes and create more than 200 new jobs.

The scheme is expected to cost up to 20 million and should help to regenerate the whole town.

Pennine Housing 2000 bought the massive mill last year after plans by a company to convert it into apartments and high-tech offices fell through.

Building is expected to start in the spring.

One firm has already been lined up for the largest of the four new workshops.

KT Hydraulics, of Halifax, is a specialist in the design, manufacture, testing, installation and commissioning of complex hydraulic systems for the oil, gas, marine, water and process plant industries.

Three smaller units will also be built at what is to be called Gannex Park.

The mill became famous through the textile tycoon Joseph Kagan.

He produced the famous Gannex raincoats, which were favoured by former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Kagan was made a peer in 1976, but was jailed for tax evasion four years later.

He had a heart attack in 1994 and died the following year.

In 2001, Asda was refused permission to demolish the mill and build a supermarket, a bus station and 42 houses on the site.

Gannex Mill was known as Broad Lea when it was built in the late 1800s.

It got its distinctive appearance in 1967 when the window surrounds, doors and roof were picked out with white paint.