Opera House firm to deliver ‘biggest scheme in Leeds for 100 years’

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THE firm responsible for the Sydney Opera House has been appointed to carry forward Leeds Council’s vision for a new high-speed rail station for the proposed HS2 line.

Consultant Arup is teaming up with Gehl Architects to deliver the master plan for a 136-hectare site around the old Tetley brewery.

Plans, due to be completed by the end of year, will explore location and footprint of a railway station as how it will connect with the existing station.

The ambition is to create a world-class interchange while reducing the need for car travel to the station.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for transport, said: “The redevelopment of the South Bank...will be the biggest change the city centre has seen in more than 100 years. It is absolutely vital we shape it in the right way because people will have to live with what happens over the next few decades for many generations to come.

“This is a huge and very exciting opportunity and it is essential to get top-class consultants on board to ensure that potential is realised. Arup is a prestigious organisation with a stellar reputation and Gehl have an ethos which is very much in line with our aspirations for the city. For such a major project it is clear that we need to have the best people creating a master plan for Leeds.”

Jerome Frost, of Arup, described the project as a “tremendous opportunity for Leeds”. 

Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin today promised strong government support for Leeds, Sheffield and other cities to reap the benefits of HS2. Local authorities, he said, had to rise to the challenge of developing growth strategies.