Burberry’s £50m plans to attract a wave of new enterprise in Leeds

A development blueprint to attract a wave of new enterprise into the former industrial heartland of a Yorkshire city is being drawn up after the arrival of one of the region’s flagship manufacturers.

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson models Burberry Pic: PA.

Leeds City Council will set out the principles by which it will support Burberry’s proposals to invest £50m in the city’s South Bank.

Burberry’s plans will provide employment for 1,000 people and bring a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and weaving facility to the South Bank.

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On Wednesday, November 18 Leeds City Council’s executive board will consider how it can work with Burberry on their proposals while ensuring the huge economic benefits of the project across the city.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Burberry’s exciting and ambitious proposal is one of the single largest employment opportunities in the Leeds South Bank.”

She added: “It will have a transformational impact, bringing jobs, training and regeneration to the area.

“We will work closely with Burberry and our city region partners to move these proposals forward and ensure we deliver on our shared goal of achieving growth in a way which is compassionate and benefits communities.”

Burberry’s new £50m site aims to increase capacity for the manufacture of the luxury brand’s iconic Gabardine trench coat in a more efficient and sustainable way.

The new facility will replace the two existing centres in Castleford and Cross Hills in West Yorkshire.

The plan is for the teams to move to the new site, bringing 700 employees from Castleford and 70 employees from Cross Hills together under one roof.

The company plans to hand the old sites back to the local community to be used for regeneration schemes.

At the meeting next week, the council’s executive board will also consider how it will work with Burberry on its intention for future potential phases of their proposals.

This includes initial plans for restoring the Grade I-listed Temple Works in the South Bank and development on land neighbouring Temple Works.

The council is recommended to develop updated planning guidance in the area, consider the sale of council land in the South Bank to Burberry and using compulsory powers to purchase the land where necessary.

There are also plans for Leeds City Council to provide a grant for the restoration of the Temple Works site and the provision of new public space at the front of the building.

If agreed, legal agreements will be developed whilst a further report will go to the council’s executive board in 2016 ahead of any final commitments by Burberry and the council on plans for any future phases of development.

The executive board report also highlights Burberry’s commitment to social programmes, which could provide significant benefits to the city’s employment and skills agenda and opportunities through a bespoke apprenticeships programme.

The Burberry announcement is the latest in a number of major investments in the South Bank area, which is home to contemporary arts venue The Tetley and has a major hub for the digital economy at the Round Foundry and Leeds Dock.

New residential developments are also due to be built at Tower Works, Ironworks and Low Fold, and Vastint recently acquired the 21-acre Carlsberg Tetley site.