Sale of former pool site to kickstart multi-million pound scheme

Leeds City Council has announced that it is planning to sell off land in the city centre as part of a multimillion pound scheme.

The council is planning to sell off the former international pool site in Lisbon Street.

The deal would pave the way for one of the prestigious development opportunities in the city centre.

Speaking on the Leeds City Region stand at the global property conference MIPIM, Martin Farrington, director of city development at the council announced the planned sale to developers and investors.

Formerly the International Pool, the 1.12-hectare site is close to Parklane Group’s proposed INC development and the Innovation District.

The site has the potential for around half a million sq ft of mixed-use commercial and retail space and could include residential units or a hotel.

The opportunity marks the halfway point in a £10bn investment programme across Leeds which will support the city’s ambition to double the size and economy of the city centre.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “Working with our partners, stakeholders and businesses, Leeds has worked very hard in recent years to provide the ideal conditions to encourage investment in the city, new developments, jobs and learning opportunities as well as skills development to increase productivity and promote inclusive growth.

“We are very proud of the impact of that work, which has seen Leeds create new private sector jobs at a rate faster than any other city in the UK, and we want to continue building on that success through the development of prime sites like Lisbon Street to further boost our economy for the city and all our residents and businesses to benefit from.”

Martin Farrington, Leeds City Council director of city development said: “We are determined to continue to bring the absolute best investors, operators and businesses here so that investment in Leeds not only boosts the economy but also helps create new and better jobs and offers opportunities for all in the city through inclusive growth.

“We are seeing a tremendous number of new schemes, developments and regeneration projects now progressing which is hugely attractive to major organisations looking to invest in our city.

“This Lisbon Street site occupies a prime position among many of the city’s top financial, legal and professional services employers within our core business district, which makes it a very desirable space and development opportunity.

“To meet the growing demand for Grade A office space in the city centre, we are pleased to announce our proposal to invite formal competitive bids for the site here at the world’s largest property conference.”

The £10bn pipeline of investment includes the major redevelopment of Leeds Station and one of Europe’s largest regeneration schemes, the 253 acre South Bank district.

With public spaces, a city park, 8000 homes, offices, education, leisure and retail provision South Bank will double the size and critically the economy of the city centre.

The £10bn programme has already included the delivery of premier shopping destinations such as Trinity Leeds and the award winning Victoria Gate, as well as phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme completed in 2017, with ambitions for a £112m second phase to follow.

£270m is being invested in public transport, plus huge investment in public realm through the Our Space programme.

Last year national broadcaster Channel 4 announced the relocation of their national headquarters to Leeds, a move which could create 1,200 jobs and have an economic impact of more than £1bn over the next decade across the region.

Luxury retailer Burberry has recently added to their base which now employs over 400 staff at its new Burberry Business Services site at Queen Street in the city centre to add to the list of major companies and organisations locating to the city including Sky, Perform Group, Reed Smith, HMRC and the most recent addition of The Link Group.

Adding to the investment pipeline is Rushbond’s development at First White Cloth Hall, a Grade II listed former cloth market on Kirkgate, Leeds, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Work has started on site just last week as the first step at transforming the iconic building into commercial use.

Leeds is attending MIPIM 2019 as part of the Leeds City Region presence which is led by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).