Leeds is an industrial city that is situated in West Yorkshire. It has long been a hub of economic activity and cultural significance. It has a prosperous history, based first on the woollen trade, and later, with its excellent river and rail trade links, Leeds became well known for coal extraction and the manufacture of machinery, textiles, chemicals, leather and pottery.
Leeds continues to be a thriving metropolis and the construction industry is playing its part in shaping the city's landscape to reflect its position in the modern world. Construction firm Glenigan has recently reported that upwards of £1Bn worth of construction projects are either underway or due to commence in the city this year.
Leeds infrastructure projects
Not only has the city committed to nearly £180M worth of residential developments, but tenders have been returned for a revamp of the Queen's Hotel on the City Square and the Firethorn Trust's industrial scheme at Sherburn in Elmet. A joint venture between Mott MacDonald and Royal BAM is also underway to build a flood alleviation scheme on the River Aire, while six warehouses at the Leeds Valley Park are set to be developed.
This investment in infrastructure within the city of Leeds should enhance its growth and improve its connectivity to the rest of the country. Based on Glenigan's data, this growth and development looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Residential construction projects
The demand for residential properties in Leeds has surged in recent years, and there are 2,267 new homes under construction in the city at the time of writing.
The former Santander office in the city is being redeveloped by HG Construction into 660 student accommodation units in a project with an order book value of £60M, whilst construction firm Caddick are creating a new development at Stonebridge Mills which will deliver 126 homes.
Housing development firm Rushbond are working with residential specialist Gold & Amber to deliver 1000 new homes in a high rise apartment block on the site of a former Goods Yard. This development will be known as Leeds City Village and is set to include a mix of leisure, commercial, and amenity space, in addition to the homes.
Construction firm Downing have submitted a planning application with an estimated value of £100M to build a 38-storey tower close to the Leeds Arena, which is planned to house 1,200 student rooms. This project was developed using advanced Building Information Modelling techniques to maximise the efficiency of the build and to accelerate timescales whilst increasing quality standards.
Business is certainly booming in Leeds, and to strengthen the city's position as a commercial hub, modern office spaces, new retail complexes and leisure facilities will be developed over the coming years, increasing visitor numbers to the city and boosting its economy.
This includes the former Tetley Brewery site, which will be redeveloped into two seven storey and one eight storey buildings, comprising a mix of commercial and office space, along with associated landscaping and parking required to support the infrastructure's requirements. The aim is to achieve a BREAAM Excellent rating for energy efficiency and performance.
Another building project underway in the city that is aiming for BREAAM Excellent standards is City House Square. With an estimated order value of £100M, this project aims to deliver a modern and attractive multi storey office building with basement car parking. As part of delivering the project, all associated groundworks, including sewage, access and landscaping, will be conducted in the most efficient manner.
Challenges and opportunities
Construction companies with contracts to deliver infrastructure projects in Leeds have every reason to be pleased, but they must exercise caution and navigate labour shortages and regulatory complexities with care, to ensure that they deliver the highest quality builds whilst remaining within agreed cost and time parameters.
As the cost of raw materials continues to escalate and the talent shortage continues unabated, it is necessary to employ innovative measures to ensure success.
At Build Space, we are delighted to have supplied personnel across a range of functions to support a number of the construction firms involved in these particular projects, and we have access to the professional talent that you require to achieve your ambitions. To find out how Build Space can help your business to deliver, please contact us today.