Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Leeds Arena – work begins on site

Work has started at city centre site where the Leeds Arena will be built to prepare it for construction of the 13,500 capacity super theatre venue.

People passing the Clay Pit Lane site can now see hoardings going up and sewers and drains being diverted to prepare for construction work to begin.

The preferred construction contractor for the 13,500 capacity venue, BAM, have been appointed to undertake the enabling work, which once complete, will allow construction of the venue to begin.

A huge £55million construction project, the arena is expected to add around £25.5m per year to the city’s economy and create around 450 construction jobs, with potentially 90 apprenticeships.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member the city development, said:
“It’s great news that work has started to prepare the site for the arena – everything remains on schedule for construction of this exciting venue to start early in 2011.

“Once complete, the arena will bring an addition 1million visitors to Leeds and an annual economic benefit of over £25 million all of which is hugely important for creating employment for local people and attracting investment to the city.

“With work also starting on another major city centre retail development project, Trinity Leeds, which is a £100million construction project, the city’s development and construction industries are being given a major boost. This shows the strength of the Leeds property sector and what can be achieved by the combined efforts of the public and private sector.”

The work at Clay Pit Lane is the first activity to take place on the site since the Brunswick building was demolished in 2009. Since then, the site has been used as a temporary surface car park. This has now permanently closed and Elmwood road, which currently splits the arena site, is also permanently closed.

The start of work on site follows last month’s publication of the proposals for the external design of the Leeds Arena which revealed it to be a striking honeycomb design with a kaleidoscope of coloured lights which will come alive on an evening and change colour or pattern to reflect the mood of the arena event at the time.

Notes to editors:

1. The Leeds Arena will open late 2012. The venue will be a unique ‘super theatre’ fan shape design which guarantees every seat in the house perfect sightlines of the centre stage - 68 metres the longest distance from the stage as opposed to 90-110 metres at a conventional arena.
2. BAM is part of Royal BAM Group. Royal BAM has a strong pedigree in large prestige buildings and is a key contractor behind two of this year’s stadiums in the FIFA World Cup – including Soccer City, home to the FIFA World Cup Final. They are also currently leading on a £9.2m refurbishment of the Leeds City Varieties theatre and previously constructed the award-winning Leeds Metropolitan University building, the Rose Bowl.

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602