SPECIALIST packaging manufacturer Holmes Mann has put its base of 85 years up for sale as it looks to move into modern premises to further boost production.

Barny Holmes, managing director, wants to move from the historic firm's old mill building in Harris Street, Little Germany, where it has operated since 1930, into a building that will enable him to increase efficiency.

He is committed to staying in the Bradford area, ideally with good motorway access to boost distribution of the firm's products, which include cardboard boxes, tubes, wooden crates and pallets and custom-printed sealing tape for blue-chip clients such as Rolls Royce, Sony and Johnson & Johnson.

The search for a new base comes as Holmes Mann - which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and employs more than 40 people - is looking to double turnover to £7.5 million.

Barny, the fifth generation family member to run the business, is hoping to clinch an early sale of the Harris Street site as interest in Bradford by investors is riding high.

He said: "It’s been a landmark 12 months for Holmes Mann. We’ve celebrated our 125th anniversary, heavily invested in new equipment and expanded the workforce to keep up with growing demand. We now need to move to more modern premises to increase production levels and double our turnover to £7.5 million in 2016 so we need somewhere that will accommodate that growth.

"Ideally, we're looking for around 40,000 sq ft in modern premises that can be adapted to provide more efficient output as the business continues to grow. Many of our production workers rely on public transport and live locally, so we want to stay in Bradford if possible.

"All our hard work to turn round the business over the past three years is now paying off and we are busier than we have been for a decade or so. We are working on a couple of new projects which, if successful, could make a dramatic difference , so it's an exciting time for Holmes Mann."

Shazad Mahmood, associate director at agents Eddisons, which is marketing Holmes Mann's 73,000 sq ft premises, said several potential buyers had viewed the 2.4 acre site which was one of the few remaining large-scale development sites in Bradford city centre.

He said: “The recent opening of the Broadway shopping centre has been a real boost to the city centre and is helping to put Bradford back on the map in the eyes of developers. Large city centre sites such as Holmes Mann’s, with good access and in a convenient location, are becoming increasingly rare."