Friday, 15 August 2014

Major development boost for Enterprise Zone

Agreements have now been put in place which will accelerate the first phase of major development on three key employment sites within the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone.

Leeds City Council has worked proactively with developers to accelerate development in the zone, by underwriting development and funding infrastructure work, and has now secured grant funding worth £8.57m from central government that will pave the way for work to begin on site at Thornes Farm, Logic Leeds and Temple Green.

The funding means a start can be made on engineering work, ground remediation, road infrastructure and building the first of a series of modern industrial units to attract manufacturing companies into the enterprise zone, situated in the heart of Leeds City Region.

The scale and mix of the new buildings, combined with occupier incentives available in the enterprise zone and its highly accessible strategic location, coupled with the delivery of 160,000 sq ft of manufacturing and logistics space will create opportunities for over 500 jobs.

Funded through the Government's ‘Building Foundations for Growth’ programme, the work will get underway this autumn and is being underwritten by Leeds City Council, which has agreed to share development risk and take ownership of the new units should they remain unlet for more than 12 months after completion.

The council will also work with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and private sector partners to showcase this prime business location to potential business investors.

Property experts point to strong demand within the regional industrial property market and a shortage of quality industrial, manufacturing and logistics space, that is currently acting as a constraint on growth for manufacturing and supply chain companies.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the LEP said: “The Enterprise Zone has huge growth potential and is a key part of the LEPs wider economic plan. I am delighted this additional funding has been secured, which will complement the investment the LEP is also making in the Enterprise Zone, and welcome the strong partnership working between the LEP, Leeds City Council and the private sector to deliver new investment and jobs.

“Assisted Areas status has recently been confirmed for certain areas of Leeds City Region, including the Enterprise Zone, which will enable more businesses to access greater public sector support and enable us to attract the very best talent and high quality businesses both nationally and internationally.”

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy said: “There’s no doubt that the Enterprise Zone offers unparalleled advantages in terms of scale, transport infrastructure, its proximity to Leeds city centre and to one of the UK’s biggest concentrations of manufacturing. That’s why the council has taken this proactive approach to secure funding and underwrite the developments to build on the momentum already achieved. Accelerating development at key locations in the zone will, in turn, stimulate and attract further investment, growth and jobs.”

Wilton Developments will begin developing two industrial units of 30,000 sq ft and 50,000 sq ft in October on its four acre Connex 45 site at Thornes Farm, to be completed and ready for occupation in spring 2015.

At Logic Leeds, Muse Developments has planning permission for 1.6 million sq ft of industrial, distribution premises and supporting uses, including offices and hotel development. The funding will allow flood alleviation and site preparation to be carried out in advance of work on the first phase of development starting in October 2014 to deliver a single serviced unit of 80,000 sq ft. The site masterplan shows the site can accommodate various requirements from 30,000 sq ft to 250,000sq ft.

Temple Green, the largest of the development sites in the enterprise zone, has planning consent for over 2.2 million sq ft of development covering a range of uses including large scale manufacturing, distribution and high quality offices. Aire Valley Land, a partnership between Evans Property Group and Keyland Development, has been established to develop the site.

Major infrastructure and engineering work will commence in November 2014 to deliver access to a series of development platforms, with the ability to accommodate buildings up to 500,000 sq ft in size. Construction work on a 1,000 space park and ride facility is scheduled to begin in early 2015.

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors

The Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone is a key element of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan to boost jobs, business growth and investment in Leeds City Region. It zone comprises 142 hectares of prime employment land immediately adjacent to Junction 45 of the M1 and is and ideal location for advanced manufacturing, supply chain, low carbon industries and logistic uses.

Fully developed, the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone has the potential to accommodate more than 9,500 private sector jobs and offers the largest opportunity for employment growth within the Leeds City Region.
The zone is already home to well established companies including Roberts Mart, one of the UK's largest packaging manufacturers, floor covering manufacturer Mercardo and branded foods maker Symingtons.