Development of Leeds iconic Tower Works site moves forward


At Investment Week at MIPIM 2014, the Homes and Communities Agency and Leeds City Council will announce the search for new development at the iconic Tower Works site the parties co-own, which forms part of the Holbeck Urban Village.

The Homes and Communities Agency and Leeds City Council are working collaboratively to bring the 1.01 acre site to market and the contract notice will be shortly issued for a development competition that will start in early April.

Including the historic Engine House and three Italianate towers, it is a key site in the city’s 136 hectare South Bank development – one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe.

Suitable for high-quality residential, office and mixed-use development, it’s hoped that outline proposals from interested developers will be invited by May/June and the final development partners chosen by the end of 2014.

While the Engine House will form part of the plans, the Italianate towers will remain under council ownership as heritage assets.

Holbeck Urban Village is a major location for the creative and digital sector and has 150 businesses and 2,500 people working there and it is hoped that the competition will help stimulate further regeneration in the area.

It is already set to benefit from the creation of a new £17.3 million southern entrance to Leeds City Station. With work already underway and due for completion in Spring 2015, it is estimated that up to 20% of Leeds’ rail station passengers would benefit from the new entrance.

The South Bank is also the chosen site for the new HS2 station which, together with the current station, would make it one of the busiest transport interchanges in the country.

South Bank has the potential to create 20,000 new jobs and 5,000 new homes on over 250,000sqm of land, which also covers the old Tetley Brewery and Allied London’s mixed use scheme, Leeds Dock.

These will be connected by the introduction of one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in the UK, the £250 million New Generation Transport (NGT) trolleybus system.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Development and the Economy said: “Tower Works is truly an iconic site. It played a pivotal role in the industrial heritage of the city and can be pivotal again in the regeneration of the South Bank.

“With fantastic connectivity and its proximity to the city centre, it will be a catalyst for Holbeck Urban Village, whilst retaining an important aspect of the city’s history.”

Naz Parkar, Director at the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “This is a great development opportunity and the time is right to bring it to market. The HCA with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund has invested £22 million in Tower Works and the first phase is proving a great success, helping to stimulate the city’s digital industry.

“The opening of the southern entrance to the train station and the wider plans for connecting the South Bank of the city makes this next phase a really exciting prospect and we’re expecting a lot of interest.”

Lurene Joseph, chief executive of Leeds and Partners, said: “Investment and development opportunities such as Tower Works are few and far between. It offers residential and commercial opportunities in the heart of the digital and creative district of Leeds, with the added benefit of its iconic architectural status.

“It is another example of the collaborative approach which is being taken in the city to stimulate growth and reinvigorate key areas.”

Investment Week at MIPIM 2014 is led by Leeds and Partners, and sees Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, York and wider city region partners collaborating to highlight the unique investment opportunities that the Tour de France and HS2 offer, and highlight over £2 billion-worth of development in the pipeline.

The activity aims to cement and build on the ambition, confidence and capability across the city region seen in recent years.

Investment Week at MIPIM 2014 is sponsored by Town Centre Securities, The GB Group, GVA, Munroe K and Shulmans, with additional support from Arup, Hammerson, AQL, Aecom, Land Securities, Leeds Bradford International Airport, PwC and RSL Steeper.