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Day One of MIPIM UK

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14 Oct 2014

National developer, Commercial Estates Group (CEG) has today announced the appointment of contractor I & H Brown to deliver the £400 million Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds, with work beginning this week.

CEG has already completed a multimillion pound investment into the demolition and remediation of the 23-hectare site. This month’s start on the scheme will deliver a new railway station, access road and service the site by late summer 2015; paving the way for more than 1,000 new homes and 300,000 sq ft of office space. The Kirkstall Forge scheme will be delivered with over £5million of private sector investment and will see 2,400 jobs created during the build. Once complete, it will boost the local economy by £5million annually. 

The beginning of the construction work comes as Leeds City Region representatives attend MIPIM UK (15-17 October 2014) to sell in the city region’s investment propositions and outline the extensive opportunities for key property investors. CEG are attending MIPIM UK as one of the lead sponsors of the Leeds City Region delegation, which this year has seen the greatest level of private sector support; testament to the increased confidence in the property sector and high quality programme on offer.

Jon Kenny, Director of CEG, commented: “Today kick-starts one of the most ambitious schemes in Leeds’ development pipeline. Working closely with Leeds City Council, Rachel Reeves MP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, we have ensured that something very special and unique can be delivered at Kirkstall Forge; this sustainable travel offer and the quality of the new amenities and stunning riverside location will undoubtedly make it one of the most sought-after destinations in the north for both businesses and residents.”  

“The Kirkstall Forge development will play a vital role in the growth and regeneration of the city. The scheme will deliver greatly improved connectivity between Leeds and Bradford, as well as directly into the city centre, something which is of great importance to drive investment and growth across the whole City Region.”

COUNCILLOR RICHARD LEWIS, LEEDS CITY COUNCIL EXECUTIVE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND THE ECONOMY

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West met CEG, Network Rail and Northern Rail on site. She said: “Kirkstall Forge is unique; the quality of the on-site amenities combined with its stunning riverside and woodland location will undoubtedly make it one of the most sought-after destinations in the north for businesses and residents. Kirkstall Forge is set to stimulate the local economy and will ultimately be a catalyst for major regeneration, much-needed housing delivery and job creation on a brownfield site.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) will provide a maximum of £10.3m towards the £16.9m needed to deliver railway stations on this site and at Apperley Bridge. The remaining 40% of the cost is made up of a local funding package comprising a private sector contribution of over £5m, supplemented by funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

Councillor Peter Box, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “A new rail station is a key element of the Kirkstall Forge development site. Together with a new rail station at Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge station will support new jobs, reduce traffic on busy routes between Leeds and Bradford and ease traffic congestion on Leeds City Centre. Two trains per hour each way from the station will provide a forecast 400,000 passengers each year with a six-minute link to Leeds City Centre, and complement the A65 Quality Bus Lane which opened in 2012. Lurene Joseph, CEO of Leeds and Partners, said: “It is fantastic to have CEG on board as we attend MIPIM UK this week, especially as we see their ground-breaking project coming to life with construction underway on the Kirkstall Forge site. The increased connectivity, commercial space and superb residential offer at Kirkstall Forge will be of great interest to private sector investors attending MIPIM UK.”

CEG will also be investing in excess of £10million in affordable housing, education and transport improvements as part of the wider Kirkstall Forge redevelopment. The company has recently seen an increase in interest in the commercial space which will be offered on a bespoke lease and design package, allowing tenants to tailor the building and lease terms.

Northern Rail Managing Director, Alex Hynes, said “Development along this line will give more people the opportunity to use the train. Travelling by rail is convenient, fast and frequent. It’s exciting to be able to see real progress being made on site. Our customers will also see it as they pass by on our trains and we hope many more will benefit from this fantastic investment.”

Warrick Dent, Area Manager for Network Rail, said: “We are very proud to be supporting this exciting development, which will see new rail services and growth for this area. We know demand for rail travel is only going to increase over the coming years, so we are committed to supporting growth and increased capacity on our network.”

Kirkstall Forge will be transformed into a thriving mixed-use community in a wooded riverside setting. Ultimately it will deliver new homes, a high quality office park, shops, restaurants, a gym, crèche and other facilities. 

MIPIM UK is led by Leeds and Partners and will see Bradford, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York collaborate to highlight the unique investment, development and occupier opportunities in the region, specifically those surrounding HS2, the Northern Hub and the potential for devolution.

The activity aims to establish the bold ambitions of Leeds City Region, reaching out to key investors, as well as cementing and building on the confidence and capability of the region, as previously demonstrated at MIPIM 2014. Leeds City Region’s programme of events during MIPIM UK includes a panel event, in which northern leaders will discuss building an interconnected north, as well as a private meeting with 20 key decision makers exploring future connectivity, and a retail innovation showcase. 

Leeds City Region at MIPIM UK is sponsored by Hammerson, Shulmans and Commercial Estates Group (CEG), with additional support from TCS, GVA, Gent Visick, Deloitte, Savills, Monaghans, Aecom, Munroe K, PwC KPMG and DLA Piper.

Notes to editors

Contact for further information:

Charlotte Rutherford

PR & Marketing Manager

T: 0113 3781149 l M: 07891 275 605

E: charlotte.rutherford@leedsandpartners.com