About Us

We’re home to a thriving community of businesses and individuals who work in a variety of sectors from film and design to recruitment and legal, what unites us is more than just the bricks and mortar that we share it’s the community we’ve built here.

Three key reasons why you should choose Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre

Small Is Good

Small is Beautiful

“All really important innovations and changes normally start from tiny minorities of people who use their creative freedom.” Ernst F. Schumacher We love this quote from economist Ernst F. Schumacher because is sums up the best qualities of being small. Being different. Being Independent. Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre is full of small, independent businesses growing, creating and thriving by doing their own thing and doing it well – a community of individuals sharing a common principle – small is beautiful.

Strength In Numbers

Strength In Numbers

It can be a lonely game when you’re freelance, starting a business or working remotely. Who doesn’t crave a bit of facetime with another human every now and again? Over 40 small businesses, freelancers and co-workers call Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre home.

be part of something bigger

Be Part of Something Bigger

Sick of Skype calls in the spare room? Want to impress that big client? We can help you punch above your weight with everything from dedicated office space, drop-in co-working, discounted meeting rooms and even virtual tenancies. All our membership packages come with things like access to free monthly networking sessions, car parking options and reception facilities. You don’t need to be big to think big.

Our Heritage


Elsie Whiteley is born in Halifax, West Yorkshire.


A 12-year old Elsie starts work as a machinist in a local mill.


Elsie Whiteley starts her own dressmaking business run from the sitting room of her house.


A year later, she opens her first shop, followed by a second a decade later.

1940’s & 50’s

The meteoric rise of the Elsie Whiteley label saw the brand manufacture from 6 separate mills across Halifax and sell to over 1000 retailers across the UK including John Lewis, Fenwick and Selfridge’s as well as having its own premises on Regent Street, London.


Elsie’s two sons join the company and help the growing business keep up with ever-changing fashion trends and labour markets.


The Elsie Whiteley brand continues to grow capitalising on popularity of all things British during the swinging 60’s!


Elsie herself never retired and was still altering garments from home right up until her death in 1972.

1980’s and 90’s

As much of the UK’s manufacturing moved off-shore during this period, the once busy machines at the heart of the mills in the Elsie Whiteley empire fell silent and the buildings fell into decline and disrepair.


The derelict mill once used by Elsie Whiteley is acquired by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Yorkshire Forward with their sights set firmly on regeneration.


Two years after the acquisition of the mill and over £5m worth of investment from various partners, work began to bring the derelict mill back to life.


The Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre opens as a hub for creative, digital and innovative companies marking a shift in the town’s fortunes from weave and weft to wire and tech…

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