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Carillion named as preferred bidder for The Engine Room, Tower Works

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13 Jul 2015

Carillion has been selected by Leeds City Council as the preferred bidder to deliver the restoration and regeneration of the Engine House, a Grade II Listed building at the heart of Holbeck Urban Village.

This announcement follows on from Carillion being named as preferred bidder for the Tower Works site by the Homes and Communities Agency in March 2015.

The Engine House is central to the Tower Works site, one of five listed structures remaining from a factory complex which produced steel pins, and took its name from three Italianate Towers which provided innovative filtration systems for the works. Built in 1899 to a design by William Bakewell, the Engine House complex housed the site's engine and boiler, and retains historic features such as a partial mosaic floor, glazed white Burmantofts brickwork walls and a series of ten plaques displaying portraits of notable Victorian industrialists, including Tower Works owner and philanthropist Thomas Harding.

Carillion's proposal repurposes the historic building as a restaurant and microbrewery bar at the ground floor level with an art house cinema on the upper floor. The Engine House fronts onto the Tower Works master-plan's new public piazza, ensuring that the site's heritage is celebrated as well as providing a key element on the route through the site from Globe Road to the canal.

Gareth Jackson, Development Director for Carillion said: "We are really pleased to have secured this element of the Tower Works site, which is under the current ownership of Leeds City Council. Our team is in the process of developing a thoughtful and high-quality bar and restaurant offer which takes its cues from Holbeck and its emerging community and this announcement means we can begin conversations with independent cinema operators in earnest over the summer. This building is central to our proposals and we are looking forward to working closely with Leeds City Council to breathe new life into this unique and important building."

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis added: "We are pleased to appoint Carillion as the council's preferred bidder for the restoration of the Engine House. The proposals will add further vitality to the successful independent food and drink sector in the South Bank while the inclusion of an independent art-house cinema will further enhance the attractiveness of the area. Importantly, this is another great example of imaginative re-use of listed buildings in Holbeck Urban Village and will complement the award -winning redevelopments at the Round Foundry and Marshall Mill."

The Engine House designs will form part of the master-plan for the wider site, set to be submitted for planning approval in the summer.