July 30, 2012

John Lewis kick-starts a £600 million development in Leeds that will create new jobs

Plans to build a new £600 million shopping centre in Leeds will create thousands of jobs in the building engineering industry as one of the of Britain’s biggest high street retailers, John Lewis, has secured a deal to build a 258,000 sq ft anchor store near the development of Eastgate Quarters in Leeds city centre.

The first phase of the development, which is called Harewood, would also create two new shopping streets leading to the Victoria Quarter which will include 30 shops, six restaurants, and a multi-storey car park on the site of Leeds’ former police station.

Work on first phase of the development is expected to start in spring 2014 and it could be open by 2016, if plans submitted to the city council next year are approved.

A low-carbon energy centre for the scheme has been consented which will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development, with the opportunity to also support neighbouring homes and businesses.

As a result of the multi-million development, the retail led scheme could generate up to 4,000 jobs in the building engineering sector, providing more employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, welcomed the announcement describing it as excellent news for the city centre and the people from Leeds as a whole.

Mr Wakefield said: “All the parties have been working behind the scenes for some months now to facilitate an agreement which enables work to begin on this important development. So to know that we now have a clear timetable from Hammerson is really exciting.

He added: “Eastgate Quarters is a hugely significant development for the city which will enable our retail sector to compete with other British cities and attract international visitors and investors. It will bring thousands of new visitors to the city as well as creating a significant number of jobs for local people.”

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”