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Contractors appointed to £400 million Leeds development

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14 Oct 2015

Developer Commercial Estates Group has appointed a team of contractors, including Wates as principal contractor, to deliver the first phase of its prestigious Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds.

The 57 acre site will become home to a thriving mixed-use community in a wooded, riverside setting. Ultimately it will comprise of 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space.

The first phase, a 15,534 sq m, seven-storey office building, will commence early in the New Year with completion expected in spring 2017. Planning permission was secured by nlp planning on behalf of CEG and the flagship building was designed by architects Cooper Cromar.

As part of the development, principal contractor Wates will be responsible for delivering CEG and Leeds City Council’s innovative vocational training programme on site. This will involve teenagers as young as 14 having the opportunity to work alongside developers, builders, architects and engineers, leading to apprenticeship opportunities once they leave school at 16.

James Shimwell from CEG said: “Ultimately, the Kirkstall Forge development will offer prime office space and new homes with fantastic facilities in a stunning riverside, woodland location with unsurpassed transport connections into Leeds, Bradford and the Yorkshire Dales.

“It is the most ambitious project in the north of England and we wanted to ensure we had a dynamic team helping to deliver our vision. We also look forward to training Leeds’ future architects, bricklayers, civil engineers, joiners, plumbers and electricians through site visits, curriculum projects, hands-on work experience and mentoring support.”

The first phase at Kirkstall Forge will be delivered by the following team:

  • Wates – principal contractor
  • Pierre Angulaire Limited – Project manager
  • WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff – civil and structural engineering consultancy
  • Weetwood – flood risk management and hydrological consultancy
  • Turner and Townsend – cost management consultancy
  • WYG – site wide infrastructure and environmental consultancy
  • Hoare Lea - M&E
  • Planit-IE - Landscape Architect

Work is already underway to deliver a new dedicated railway station connecting the site to Leeds City Centre in just minutes. Infrastructure work is also being delivered on the site by I&H Brown to deliver the access road into the railway station and to service the site for the first phase. This is expected to complete later this year.

Ultimately the Kirkstall Forge will deliver approximately 2,400 new jobs in the office space, leisure and retail facilities, enabling almost 10,000 people to live and work on this site by 2020. It will bring economic revival to a site with an 800 year history as the oldest continuously industrialised site in the UK.

The development has secured the national Placemaking Award for Best Mixed-use Development 2015 - The judging panel, which includes urban designers, planners, housebuilders, regeneration companies, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and English Heritage, said they loved the scheme’s scale, ambition, partnership and environmental values.

Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction North East and Yorkshire said: “We’re extremely proud to be appointed as principal contractor for one of the most ambitious regeneration projects the region has seen for years.

“The scheme is integral to the economic growth of West Yorkshire and will see us utilise our vast experience in order to produce a unique living environment, which will perfectly complement the historic and natural surroundings.

“We look forward to commencing construction and helping CEG deliver their vision to create a vibrant community for people to live and work.”

David Hill, technical director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff: “Kirkstall Forge will act as a catalyst for regeneration in the area – bringing new jobs, offices and homes to hundreds of people. We’re delighted to be part of the project team and we look forward to seeing the first phase of development realised in the very near future.”

Scott Beale, Director, Engineering, WYG, said: “‘We are delighted to have worked with CEG since 2005 on redeveloping this historic site that will provide a new community with high quality homes, public space and business opportunity with close links to the heart of Leeds. We are proud that our Leeds team will continue to play a significant part in rejuvenating this important local area.’

Ian Cowley, Senior Partner at Hoare Lea, said: “This is a great opportunity for bringing a truly mixed use, sustainable development to Leeds that utilises a brown field site and provides excellent rail links - allowing commuters to get to the City Centre within just a few minutes. We’re truly excited to be a part of this high profile and truly unique development.”

Dr Kevin Tilford, Managing Director of Weetwood, said “Having been continuously involved in the Kirkstall Forge project since 2004 and helping CEG bring the development potential of this riverside site to full realisation it is incredibly exciting to see the first phase of the Kirkstall Forge about to be delivered. We are delighted to be part of the project team and look forward to seeing the transformation of a previously contaminated industrial site into a world class, sustainable, multi-use riverside development.