Large-scale projects are changing the face of the region

Large-scale construction projects across Yorkshire are changing the face of the region and creating vibrant new districts.

Kirkstall Forge is one of the most high profile.  Developer CEG is leading the transformational  57-acre, £400m scheme which is set to become home to a thriving mixed-use community in a wooded, riverside setting.

Ultimately it will comprise of 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space.

With an 800 year history, Kirkstall Forge is the oldest continually industrialised site in the UK and the largest brownfield site being redeveloped in Leeds.

A new rail station means it is just a six minute train journey to the heart of the city.

David Hodgson

David Hodgson is CEG’s head of strategic development in the North. He said Kirkstall Forge was one of a number of large scale regeneration schemes the company is moving forward with in the region. Things, he added, “are incredibly positive.”

The projects he speaks of include the ambitious £350m South Bank development in Leeds, which was given the green light in April.

The plan is to transform a derelict site with a development programme that includes the tallest building in the city, offices, retail, hotel, parking, homes and new public spaces.

Buildings ranging from five to 40-storeys form part of the plans, which CEG said would put Leeds on the map as a key European destination.

Hodgson said: “Our proposals will deliver the same attention to detail and quality as we are delivering at Kirkstall Forge.

“This will be an exciting mixed-use strategic development of a critical mass and international standard, revitalising the area and reconnecting local communities to the city.”

Other transformational “place-making” projects in the region include its largest ever brownfield development.

Waverley, sitting between Sheffield and Rotherham, is set to transform the site of the old Orgreave coking plant into a vibrant new district.

The plan to create a £50m retail, leisure and office scheme got the green light in October. The development will link the Advanced Manufacturing Park, home to major employers including Boeing, and Waverley’s growing local population.

The new Waverley development is a joint venture between Harworth Group and Dransfield Properties.

Meanwhile, construction is progressing on a new retail and leisure park at Thorpe Park. Sitting on the eastern outskirts of Leeds, Thorpe Park is already a well-established 800,000 sq ft business destination with some 4,500 workers.

Thorpe Park

Delivery of phase two is now underway to provide 1.35 million sq ft of mixed accommodation which includes a new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park and the first phase of 940,000 sq ft of offices.

The development also includes 300 new homes by Redrow and a 113-acre public park with sports facilities.

There are also plans for a new railway station to serve this emerging district.


Simon Marshall is joint chief executive of Scarborough International Properties, which is developing phase two with Legal & General Capital.

He says large scale projects like Thorpe Park are helping drive the construction sector forward in the region.

“There are so many different aspects to them,” he adds. “Thorpe Park is not just construction; there are significant earth works and civil engineering with road and rail bridges.”

Last year it was announced that the first phase of the project had created 100 new construction jobs. Other positive spin offs include more opportunities for apprentices.

Marshall also says that this type of development also offers long-term opportunities for the supply chain. “They can plan and build a part of their growth strategy around it,” he explains.