Leeds council plans Kirkgate improvements

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Leeds council plans Kirkgate improvements

Leeds City Council is looking for a developer to refurbish its Kirkgate indoor market and redevelop the adjacent George Street that links to market to the new Victoria Gate shopping mall.

The council executive board is set to sign off on a £12.3m refurbishment scheme for Kirkgate market next week. This includes roof replacement, new lights, upgrading the sprinkler system, drainage works and a new ventilation system.

Expressions of interest are also sought from companies to redevelop the shops on George Street to entice Victoria Gate shoppers to also step across to Kirkgate. The two aspects of the project are being run with procurement processes but are intertwined.

Developers are being asked to come forward with initial proposals for the ground floor which could include shops, restaurants or cafes and first floor accommodation, which could be linked to the ground floor uses or as independent retail or commercial space. There is also potential to develop up to five floors.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and economy, said: “We’re proposing a major investment in an iconic listed building with significant local importance attached to it, so it’s vital that we get this right. This is a very complex project with many different elements to it and the report being published explains a number of these issues that we’ll need to consider before moving forward.

“We’re absolutely clear that we must invest in the market so it can take full advantage of its unique position in Leeds’ retail landscape. It would be remiss of us to not invest and pursue the redevelopment of George Street given the opportunity represented by the Victoria Gate development and the millions of predicted visitors.

Subject to approval and getting a contractor in place, it is intended that work will start in early 2015 with an estimated completion date in 2016.

Sir Robert McAlpine starts construction work on 7th April on the £150m Victoria Gate retail development, which is also set to open in 2016.




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