The vibrant city of Leeds has seen some major regeneration and development projects taking place over the past 12 months. Most notably the new £165 million Victoria Gate shopping complex is on track to open its doors at the end of October and has a host of big-name brands on board including its flagship retailer John Lewis. Not only will Victoria Gate enhance the city’s already enviable reputation as the third best shopping city outside of London, the scheme is also set to bring increased tourism to the area.
Every day new cranes seem to fill the Leeds skyline – signalling more and more development, regeneration and continual improvement of the North’s fastest growing city for business…
Leeds South Bank
The Victoria Gate scheme isn’t the only transformation the city has seen. The opening of the new southern train station entrance in January of this year opened up the city’s waterfront and connected the station to the regeneration projects taking place in the South Bank. Already home to giants such as ASDA’s UK Headquarters and The Tetley, future plans will also see it become home to the new HS2 station. Additional development plans include a 35-hectare park which will be built to enhance the waterfront with new bridges for pedestrian and cycle friendly access enabling an easy access to the centre.
Set to open it’s doors in a month’s time, the Victoria Gate scheme is one of the most hotly anticipated developments in the city. Built around the premise of mimicking Leeds’ unique shopping arcades and attracting many independent and boutique retailers, the scheme will provide 1,000’s of jobs and boost the local economy. Home to the city’s first ever John Lewis store, other big names include Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Local artists are already being sourced for the opening ceremony which promises to be a real occasion and will mark the continued development of Leeds into a true corner stone of the Northern and British economy.
It is hard to talk about future and recent Leeds regeneration without mentioning Greek Street. In recent months this area of the city has seen a transformation and is now easily one of the most sought after areas for dining and drinking. Once a street easily overlooked and home to many empty units, the area is now populated by high end eateries and bars including Leeds’ second Alchemist. In April 2016 the council announced plans to pedestrianise the area through the summer months, creating Leeds’ largest al fresco dining area and it seems as if new business are opening up on the now iconic scheme every month. Further plans for the area include the redevelopment of the old Stacker carpark into a luxury 10 story hotel.
These are just some of the city’s largest development and regeneration projects, if we were to mention each of them, including the large number of residential developments we would simply run out of space. One of Leeds’ most admirable and defining qualities is its dedication to improvement, advancement and innovation. We certainly hope that the city’s skyline is never free of the cranes we all now take for granted, for where there is a crane there is development and without development we cannot become bigger, stronger or better in the future.
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