Investment and development in Leeds

Major commercial property schemes totalling £7.35 billion are currently under construction and in the development pipeline in Leeds, while £3.9 billion worth of projects have been completed over the last ten years.

Retail and leisure investment figures include nearly £1 billion of retail and leisure development:

  • the first phase of Hammerson’s £600 million Victoria Gate development, which opened in October 2016 and added 596,500 sq ft to the city’s retail footprint, including the flagship John Lewis store.
  • the £350 million Trinity Leeds retail and leisure development by Land Securities and the landmark first direct arena, both opened in 2013.

Hotel construction was up by 72% in 2016, with four new hotel developments underway.

Office market

A total of 460,000 sq ft of new office space is currently under construction and over 700,000 sq ft was completed in 2016, the highest level for over a decade according to the 2017 Leeds Crane Survey.

Key developments completed include: No.3 Sovereign Square, a 93,000 sq ft office development by Bruntwood; MEPC’s No.5 and No.6 Wellington Place and the 200,000 sq ft Central Square in the city’s West End. Major office developments currently under construction refurbishment of Merrion House and redevelopment of Platform, formerly City House, above Leeds Central Station.

Occupancy levels in the Leeds office market are amongst the highest in Europe, with vacancy rates at 5% and just 1.5% for Grade A office space.

South Bank expansion

Leeds South Bank is the base for UK and regional headquarters of firms such as Asda, Eversheds, Ernst and Young and DWF, together with a cluster of creative and digital media businesses located in Holbeck Urban Village.

It is also home to a developing educational cluster, which includes new campus buildings for Leeds City College, Leeds College of Building and UTC Leeds, the city's first university technical college. Skybet has invested heavily at Allied London’s Leeds Dock, where it employs 650 staff in its new centre for digital and technology services.

Improved transport connectivity and new linkages via the southern entrance to Leeds Railway Station promise to act as a catalyst for further development of the area, which presents one of the largest opportunities for city centre regeneration and growth in Europe.

Enterprise Zone opportunity Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone has a development pipeline totalling 4 million sq ft of employment space, with 600,000 sq ft of development completed since September 2015.

Located just minutes from the city centre and with direct access to the national motorway network, the Enterprise Zone is the ideal location for modern manufacturing and related supply chain companies. It represents a major opportunity for business investment and expansion and, fully developed, has the potential to create thousands of new jobs for Leeds and the wider city region.

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