2017 in Review: July to December
As 2017 draws to a close, we take a look at the stories making headlines in the second half of the year across TheBusinessDesk.com’s Yorkshire region.
- A re-brand was proposed at Leeds United FC. Leeds United was set to reveal the transformation of its new-look Elland Road just weeks after chairman Andrea Radrizzani acquired the stadium for the club. In June, it was announced that the site had returned to LUFC ownership.
- Handmade Burger Company entered administration. Administrators said that nine of the 29 restaurants had closed, but remaining sites were trading as normal.
- Two derelict spinning mills in Leeds were set to undergo a £50m transformation. The grade II-listed former Hunslet and Victoria flax spinning mills are set in a 3.1 acre site on Goodman Street in Hunslet, which was acquired by Leeds developer JM Construction.
- Developer Oakgate proposed plans for an expanded site next to the York Designer Outlet. The plans for the site includes offices, business space and a 750 space car park.
- The founders of Fazenda closed the doors of their Bossa grill restaurant in Leeds.
- Provident Financial became one of the biggest one-day fallers in FTSE 100 history after its shares lost 66% of their value after delivering a package of bad news to the stock market. The Bradford based sub-prime lender has had £4bn wiped off its market value in the last year – with £1.7bn of that being lost in trading on one day in August.
- Value retailer B&M swooped for Yorkshire’s Heron Food Group in a £152m deal. Heron, a discount retailer, operates predominantly in the North from its base in North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, with 251 stores in its portfolio.
- Re-branding proposals for the home of Leeds United at Elland Road were approved. Leeds City Council gave the green light for signage and branding around the arena to be installed.
- The owners of Leeds-headquartered law firm Simpson Millar announced they were calling in administrators.
- Administrators saved the Altec Engineering group with a management buyout, but were not able to save dozens of jobs at Yorkshire sites. Altec, headquartered in Co. Durham, manufactures automation equipment and high precision components for aerospace and defence.
- Asda cut 300 jobs across the Leeds head office and Leicester site. The supermarket said: “In recent years, the competitive landscape in retail has changed significantly and Asda has been no different.”
Aprirose acquired QHotel business for £525m. The deal saw the Leeds firm take on all hotels in the QHotel portfolio, including The Queens and Oulton Hall in Leeds, Tankersley Manor near Sheffield, Alwark Manor near York, The Midland in Manchester and three Cheshire hotels.
The Government announced it was to choose MEPC’s Wellington Place in Leeds as the location for its 380,000 sq ft civil service hub. HMRC, working with the Cabinet Office, will take 378,000 sq ft at Wellington Place on a 25 year lease in the biggest ever commercial property letting in Leeds. The deal will see 6,000 civil servants working in the new city centre premises in 2020. NHS Digital will also relocate to the space.
Clothing retailer Greenwoods, which had been in business since 1860, called in administrators. Bradford-based Greenwoods was then sold to Versatile International Trading, saving the firm from administration, in October.
Caddick Developments announce that the Quarry Hill area of Leeds is to be re-branded SOYO as part of a £300m transformational scheme designed to create a new cultural quarter and neighbourhood.
- Private equity firm Bridgepoint sold Leeds Bradford Airport to Australian investment firm, AMP Capital. The sale came ten years after Bridgepoint bought it under a privatisation plan by five West Yorkshire councils in 2007.
- Developer CEG submitted a hybrid planning application for a 3.52 hectare derelict site in the South Bank area of Leeds to be transformed into a development including offices, retail, hotel, parking, homes and new public spaces.
- Yorkshire eatery and meatball production firm The Yorkshire Meatball Company, which last year said it had ‘surpassed’ crowdfunding targets, went into liquidation – leaving crowd-funding investors out of pocket. The company, based in Leeds and which had a Harrogate restaurant, agreed for the company be wound-up voluntarily.
- Details about the remodelling of Leeds train station to become a ‘destination station’ were announced as part of a £500m project. The development will pave the way for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to arrive into the heart of the city and proposals were set to act as a blueprint of the station redevelopment masterplan.
- Plans to deliver a new £50m retail, leisure and office scheme on Yorkshire’s ‘largest ever brownfield development’ creating 700 new jobs, were given the green light. The scheme for the 740-acre Waverley site in Rotherham, just off junction 33 of the M1, will deliver over 190,000 sq ft of mixed-use space.
- Planning permission was granted to build 1,100 new homes and community development on a 170-acre site at Skelton Gate. Developers also submitted plans to build primary and secondary schools, public open space, a local centre, convenience store and associated infrastructure on the site within the Leeds Aire Valley.
- It was announced that work was set to begin work on the first phase of £1.2bn Lincolnshire Lakes project in early 2018. The development, which is expected to provide six waterside villages and over 6,000 homes by 2028, will create 5,000 new long-term jobs.
- Two solicitors working at the same Bradford firm were struck off. Mohammed Ayub was an equity partner at Chambers Solicitors on Grattan Street in Bradford and Neil Frew was a salaried partner at the firm.
- Brexit scuppers Leeds 2023 hopes as the European Commission said that UK access to the European Capital of Culture 2023 would be discontinued.
- Private equity firm Montagu agreed to buy listed Sheffield technology firm Servelec for £223.9m.
- TheBusinessDesk.com had its own deal to report after its management team completed a buy-out of the company. The group’s editor Alex Turner and commercial director Lee-J Walker announced they had taken a majority stake in the website’s owner, Regional Media Services.
- The full route for the 2018 Tour De Yorkshire was announced. The fourth edition of the race has been expanded from three to four stages and will take place between 3-6 May 2018.
- Property developer CEG acquired the Grade One listed Temple Mill building on Marshall Street in an agreement made before the property was due to head to auction. The firm confirmed the purchase of the building in the South Bank area of Leeds city centre, recognised this complex nature of development needed.
- Greetings card firm UK Greetings reported another difficult year after recording pre-tax losses of £7.8m. The Dewsbury-based group, which is owned by American Greetings, saw sales fall by nearly £10m to £142.3m in the year to February.
- Plans to transform the former Brown & Muff building in Bradford city centre, once known as the ‘Harrods of the North’ into an aparthotel, were given the green light. The planning application was submitted in September by Stamford Properties, outlining their strategy to extend and convert the building to form 69 apartment/hotel rooms.