The Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck PFI Project is nearing conclusion and the council has stepped in to offer part of the funding for the scheme to ensure it goes ahead.
The project represents a major investment in the regeneration of three of Leeds’ most deprived neighbourhoods and will have a major, positive and sustained impact on the lives of tenants, residents and businesses in these areas.
The council’s executive board will be asked next week (Wednesday 18 July) to approve the recommendation of the re-profiling of the council’s affordability position which will allow the council and sc4L to work together to deliver the project.
The proposed development has overcome a number of hurdles in the past months including the loss of one of the lenders in the project. The majority of the project’s funding requirements will continue to be met by the two remaining lenders.
But a funding shortfall will still remain, and the council has proposed that this should be met through a re-profiling of the council’s contribution to the project.
A number of items have changed within the project, one being the community hub in Little London. The site was originally included in the PFI regeneration of Little London, but was removed after the government value for money review. Since then the council has committed to looking at investment options in the community Hub as part of the larger scale improvement to the local Little London school – this will be handled as a separate project.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“This project has encountered a number of hurdles over the past few months, but we are now getting close to the final stage.
“This community has not seen any investment in terms of housing for a number of years, so it is vital that this scheme goes ahead, and therefore we will be working as a partner in the project.
“We are pleased to be able to say that we will be looking into investment into the community Hub and working with local people on the design of the buildings as part of the larger scale works going on at the school.
“This project will bring much needed benefits to three local inner city communities, with renovated and improved council housing, new energy efficient homes and improvement of the local environment.
“This is an exciting project for Leeds, and will be the largest single area regeneration investment in Leeds for many years and one of the largest housing PFI projects in the country, so it is vital that we do this right."
Notes to editors:
The main programme of works in the scheme includes refurbishment of the 1245 Council homes, construction of 388 new Council homes to rent and environmental improvements to the estate.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450