Gary Neville to open innovative office building in South Yorkshire

4 October 2011

Former Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville will officially open an innovative office building in South Yorkshire.
Mr Neville has agreed to open the Old Corn Mill, near Penistone, because of his interest in environmental sustainability. He is the founder of an organisation called Sustainability in Sport and is currently having an eco home built on the moors between Bury and Bolton.
The Old Corn Mill is one of only about a dozen “carbon negative” commercial properties in the whole of England and Wales. A combination of solar panels, wind turbines and water power means the building at Bullhouse Mill, at Millhouse Green, near Penistone, produces more energy than it consumes, with the exported surplus effectively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, giving it an energy performance rating of A+.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates buildings from A to G, similar to the banding given to electrical household appliances.
The former United captain will be joined for the opening on October 13th by Communities Minister Andrew Stunell, who is leading government efforts for greater sustainability of buildings. Mr Stunell is also MP for Hazel Grove.
Mr Neville said: “It’s great to see offices like this being built. It just shows that businesses as well as individuals can do their bit for the environment.”
Local dignitaries, including the mayor of Barnsley Councillor Karen Dyson and local MP Angela Smith, are also expected to attend the ceremony.
Charles Booth, the man behind the Old Corn Mill, said: “It’s an honour to have all these people coming to the opening and it just shows that it is a really special building.
“The location on the edge of the Pennines is perfect to harness nature. We have wind, water and sun. It sounds a bit utopian, but it has to be the way forward for buildings of the future. And what makes this building all the more remarkable is that part of it is 250 years old.”
The Old Corn Mill is the original 1750s three-story mill that has been renovated, with the addition of a new two-storey extension.
The building has many energy efficient features, including triple glazing; substantial wall, floor and ceiling insulation; low-energy appliances; eco lighting, and an insulated lobby. Underfloor heating is provided using a geothermal water source beneath the car park. 
As well as photovoltaic cells, which are on an adjoining warehouse, there are two wind turbines in neighbouring fields and a water turbine in the River Don, which runs past the site.
Two tenants have already moved into the building; a solar PV installer and Danish furniture manufacturer.
Martin Beasley, of Enterprising Barnsley, which supports high-growth businesses, said the green credentials of the building would help boost employment in the borough.
“Something as unusual as this is bound to attract businesses to the area and that is great for the local economy,” he said.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. It runs office space for start-up businesses in another building at the Bullhouse Mill site.
Journalists are invited to the official opening at 1.45pm on Thursday October 13th.
Charles Booth can be contacted on 01226 372 718.
Sustainability in Sport website:
For more details about Enterprising Barnsley, contact programme manager Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at, or go to
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre and University Campus Barnsley. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide an integrated programme of business support. 
Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at

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