Friday, 3 August 2012

Major housing regeneration project moves closer to final sign off

A major housing project has moved another step closer to completion after the council has been given the go ahead to provide funding for the scheme.

The latest decision from HM Treasury will enable the council to provide funding for the Little London, Beeston Hill & Holbeck PFI project and move closer to the final sign off of the project.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday the 18 July a decision was made for the council to plug the funding gap left when one of the lenders withdrew their support for the project. The treasury has now approved this new funding arrangement which will enable the key development to continue. The other lenders for the project have extensive experience of supporting similar projects and still remain committed to providing funding for the development.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Deputy Leader and Executive Board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“This news is excellent, and moves us one step closer to obtaining final sign off on the project.

“This inner city area of South Leeds has been waiting for many years for major investment to improve housing and the local environment. We have remained determined that this project continues and we will continue to work as a key partner to support the delivery of this work.

“In light of one of the lenders pulling out of this project, it is excellent news for the communities of Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck, that the Council’s contribution to this project will enable this essential development to move towards a start on site later this year.

“The enormous difficulties that the project team has experienced in terms of securing lending from banks for a blue-chip project clearly demonstrates why it remains challenging for small and medium size businesses in Leeds to secure lending.

“This project will bring much needed improvements to these three key regeneration areas including: new and refurbished council homes, local environmental improvements and developments which will improve community safety.”

Note to editors

The Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck PFI project is one of the largest regeneration investments in Leeds and is one of the largest housing PFI projects in the country.

This development will bring improvements to existing Council homes and the construction of new Council homes for rent. Neighbourhoods across Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck will benefit from environmental and community safety improvements. In addition the benefits of this investment will be seen more widely with employment and training opportunities for Leeds residents.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Motorists warned of temporary closure of Leeds Inner Ring Road

The A58M Leeds Inner Ring Road is to be closed to traffic in both directions the weekend of Friday 10 August to Monday 13 August to allow the removal of the massive existing concrete beams as part of the essential major repair works to Lovell Park Road Bridge.

Lovell Park Road Bridge carries Lovell Park Road over the A58M Inner Ring Road near to the site of the Leeds Arena. Repair works started on the bridge on in June.

The works are currently progressing well and the existing beams are to be removed using a large crane that will be placed on the A58M Inner Ring Road next to the bridge.

The closure of the A58M Inner Ring Road in both directions will start at 8pm on Friday 10 August and will last until 5am on Monday 13 August.

Leeds City Council apologises for the disruption to traffic travelling through the city centre. These works may cause significant delays and people are advised to allow more time for their journeys.

The extent of the closures will be between:-

Eastbound Traffic:
The closure will be between the Woodhouse Lane exit slip and the North Street entry slip although Harrogate bound traffic will be permitted to continue to the Clay Pit Lane exit slip only.
Eastbound through traffic will be diverted via the Armley Gyratory, the A643 to the M621 Jnct 2, onto the M621 to Junct 4, onto the A61 towards York and East Leeds.
Local and City Centre traffic will be diverted via the A660, Woodhouse Lane, Merrion Way and North St.

Westbound Traffic:
The closure will be between the A653 Marsh Lane exit slip and the A58 Clay Pit Lane entry slip.
Westbound traffic will be diverted via the A653 Marsh Lane, the A61 (signposted towards the motorways), onto the M621 at Junct 4 and exiting at Junct 2, onto the A643 towards the Armley Gyratory.

A limited number of further closures of the A58M Inner Ring Road will be required to install the new concrete beams.

The bridge is being repaired as part of a major £25 million programme to restore three bridges on the Inner Ring Road. Repairs to the New York Road Viaduct are already underway and the final phase – to Woodhouse Tunnel - will begin in Spring 2013.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy said:
“The Inner Ring Road is a vital part of the city’s transport system. More than 75,000 cars use it every day.

“It has served the city well for nearly 50 years. But if we are to keep the traffic moving through the city in future we have to undertake major repairs to the Inner Ring Road bridges now. In the short term there may be delays and inconvenience but we have to take the longer term view, for everybody’s benefit.

“We have done everything we can to reduce disruption by scheduling the work for nights and weekends and we will carry out this work as quickly as we can. We understand that this could add to journey times and cause some disruption to commuters and local residents, and I would like to thank them in advance for their understanding of these essential works.

“Meanwhile we have contacted local business and entertainment venues to make sure that they are aware of our plans and we do advise motorists to allow extra time for their journey – particularly on the weekends when the road will be closed.”

For full details of the dates, times and location of the closures together with the diversion routes for affected traffic see .

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713