Leeds £350m South Bank masterplan could bring 7,000 jobs from just ONE unnamed major tenant...and work could begin within months

PLANS to regenerate a number of former industrial sites which form a key part of Leeds's South Bank masterplan could be submitted by the end of January next year, and work could start by May, planning chiefs have been told.

As previously reported, CEG - the firm behind the city’s Kirkstall Forge development - is aiming to transform more than five acres of land north and south of Globe Road and Water Lane in an area of Holbeck known as the Temple Quarter.

A Leeds City Council plans panel was told this week that the £350m project - which would sit alongside other emerging and mooted projects like the redevelopment of the city’s main railway station and the arrival of HS2 high speed rail - will provide a new “gateway” into the city, and will be like “Leeds’s front door from the south” and “the arrival point for the Northern Powerhouse”.

CEG director Jon Kenny revealed that around 500,000 sq foot of the offices - the bulk of the total available - could be taken up by just ONE as yet unnamed tenant who is still in talks with the firm, but could bring over 7,000 jobs.

Mr Kenny told the Leeds council committee: “The regeneration benefits of this location are enormous. The occupier is also considering other sites in the city but none of those sites are capable of meeting the regeneration [potential] that this site can deliver.”

He said the occupier’s presence “would complement” the arrival of Burberry in the city. The design firm has previously announced plans to open a coat manufacturing site in Leeds.

Mr Kenny told the Leeds Civic Hall panel: “We aim to create a new, vibrant, world class location - a place to live, a place to work, a place to enjoy.

“We wish to bring you a scheme which is, without exaggeration, unique.”

The meeting was also told that the developer will shortly be opening a new “skills village” on the site and working with Leeds College of Building to offer apprenticeships and training to local teenagers.

The team will work “full steam ahead” to submit a full planning application at the end of January 2017 and aims to be on site at the end of May 2017, the panel was told.

The initial blueprint for the Temple Quarter includes a mix of office buildings, apartments, bars and restaurants on sites next to Tower Works in a scheme designed to be pedestrian and cycle friendly.