Old co-op is back in business as safety firm sets up shop

A HISTORIC building is back in business after standing empty for more than a year.

The former co-op in Haley Hill, Boothtown, Halifax, has been bought and restored by Taylor Made Safety.

John Taylor, owner, decided to make the move after his business outgrew the unit it used to rent in Drake Industrial Estate, off Shay Lane, Ovenden.

He said: “We kept passing this place and stopping and looking at it. It’s a nice building in a nice area, and my wife quite likes old buildings.It just seemed to us it was going to ruin being empty.

“We had a look inside and it had all these period features and panelling and we thought it would be nice to bring it all back to life.”

Restoration work has been kept as sympathetic as possible to the building’s past, he said.

A red-brick chimney that was added by a former owner has been replaced with a stone one to match the walling, and the roof has been redone with traditional slate.

Hardboard has been removed from the walls to reveal the orginal panelling and the old floorboards have been painted in keeping with the building. Old photos of the co-op in its heyday are also on display.

“From the comments that we’ve had from people passing by or coming in, and local neighbours, they have all been quite appreciative of what we’ve done,” said Mr Taylor. His firm, which employs three full-time workers, sells protective clothing and safety gear as well as sports and leisure wear, and embroidery and printing services.

Mr Taylor said the move had allowed the company more space to sell a wider range of products.

“People want to cut down on invoicing and costs these days, so if they can get everything from a one-stop shop it saves dramatically on cost and time and effort,” he said.