The relentless regeneration of Leeds city centre continues with fervent enthusiasm of both developers and consumers alike.
Leeds’ skyline is ever-changing with the latest developments scattering the city centre, which is now acclaimed for its non-stop buzz, creative industries and diverse offering of shops, workspaces and eateries.
John Lewis and Victoria Gate
The up-market £165 million Victoria Gate retail development adjacent to Victoria Quarter is on track to open late next year during the autumn season.
The scheme will consist of three buildings; a flagship John Lewis store, a two-street covered arcade with more than 30 ‘aspirational’ retailers and restaurants and an 800-space multi-storey car park.
The centre welcomes ‘aspirational’ brands pitched towards a higher demographic. Maje and The White Company are among the brands that have already filled 51 per cent of the scheme, with the John Lewis store becoming the biggest outside London at around 260,000 sqft.
Property giant Hammerson – the company behind the design – has upgraded the scheme to incorporate two rooftop restaurants and it is in negotiations with high-end operators about running them.
Plans for the eight-storey building include a roof inspired by the Corn Exchange. The 35,400sqm Victoria Gate scheme is expected to create up to 1,000 construction job opportunities, with the first phase also delivering up to 1,000 retail and hospitality jobs.
For more details, visit Victoriagate.co.uk.
The transformed waterside community of Leeds Dock offers flexible contemporary workspace, quirky cafés and outdoor dining.
Leeds Dock is destined to become a vibrant and creative waterside community, and with recent investment in a water taxi service, a new city centre metro bus service (The City Bus South Bank – service 70) and a bold programme of events, the 150,000 sqft workspace is seeing increasing demand from businesses wanting to forge a new creative cluster here.
Google is to join forces with HelloWork to launch its new ‘Digital Garage’ initiative at Allied London’s Leeds Dock development, which will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The project overlooks the water and is located alongside the new Restaurant Boardwalk, and My Street – a new shopping and café street. It is a further catalyst to the creation of a new Leeds city neighbourhood where creative industries can collide and where local residents can live, work and play.
Mike Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: “This will be unlike anything seen before in the UK and will start to link the waterfront destination with the rest of the city.”
This summer, it was announced that Sky is to create up to 400 new jobs in Leeds as part of the development of its digital services with a “world-class technology facility” in Leeds Dock. The facility is set to open in December 2015.
For more details, visit Leedsdock.com.
Trinity Leeds added another three retailers to its impressive line-up this summer.
The much-anticipated brands include leading menswear store, Moss, Italian Fashion brand Replay, and American doughnut giant, Krispy Kreme, which follow the arrival of popular ‘bubble tea’ London café, Bubbleology, earlier in the year.
Paul Smith, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “We are delighted that these fantastic UK and international brands have decided to take space in Trinity Leeds, and predict they will be massively popular with our shoppers. We are particularly proud to host a Leeds success story in Accent’s new Replay operation, and support an award-winning family-run business.”
For more details, visit Trinityleeds.com.
Yorkshire Post Site
Earlier this year Leeds City Council approved plans to redevelop the former Yorkshire Post site on Wellington Street.
Plans include transforming the site into a major mixed use development, providing around 50,000sqm of offices, 200 homes or a hotel and a range of other uses, including cafés, shops and leisure facilities.
The newspaper’s buildings were themselves demolished last year, following the relocation of the workforce to No 1 Leeds on Whitehall Road.
The new scheme will open up a previously inaccessible stretch of the city’s waterfront, with the proposals incorporating an extensive area of new public open space.
Tim Waring, director of Quod, planning consultants for the project, said: “Once complete it will create a vibrant addition to the city centre focus, while also helping the council to meet its future economic and housing needs.”
For more details, visit Quod.com.
Leeds Corn Exchange
In the heart of Leeds’ bustling shopping and leisure district, Leeds Corn Exchange is the mecca for an alternative, individual and charming shopping experience. Home to a mix of young and established boutiques, designer-makers, salons and foodie outlets, the Grade I* listed building showcases some of the region’s most talented independent traders, offering a refreshing change to the ubiquitous chain stores of the high street.
Whether visiting for jewellery or fashion, a vintage camera or art house zine, bespoke drum kit or acoustic guitar, new haircut or rejuvenating facial, a gourmet hot dog or hearty hummus, Leeds Corn Exchange has it all under one spectacular roof.
For more information, visit Leedscornexchange.co.uk.