Contractor to begin work on £400m Kirkstall Forge development

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Work is set to begin on the £400m Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds.

Contractor I&H Brown has been appointed to the Commercial Estates Group (CEG) project, which will create a new railway station for the city.

Construction of the station and an access road will begin later this month and will complete by late 2015.

The 23-hectare site is set to create 1,000 new homes and 300,000 sq ft of office space in a mixed-use community, including shops, restaurants, a gym and other facilities.

It is projected to bring around 2,400 jobs and £5m per year to the local economy.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said the “unique” Kirkstall Forge development will drive the local economy forward, serving as “a catalyst for major regeneration, much-needed housing delivery and job creation”.

Developer CEG is set to invest £10m in affordable housing, education and transport improvements as part of the wider Kirkstall Forge redevelopment.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is providing £10.3m towards creating Kirkstall Forge railway station and a second station at Apperley Bridge. The remaining 40 per cent funding has been made up by a £5m private sector contribution and funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “A new rail station is a key element of the Kirkstall Forge development site. Together with a new rail station at Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge station will support new jobs, reduce traffic on busy routes between Leeds and Bradford and ease traffic congestion on Leeds City Centre.

“Two trains per hour each way from the station will provide a forecast 400,000 passengers each year with a six-minute link to Leeds City Centre, and complement the A65 Quality Bus Lane which opened in 2012.”

Northern Rail managing director Alex Hynes added: “Development along this line will give more people the opportunity to use the train.

“It’s exciting to be able to see real progress being made on site. Our customers will also see it as they pass by on our trains and we hope many more will benefit from this fantastic investment.”