The Big Six Builds on MIPIM 2015

In March 2015 Leeds City Region’s delegation of private and public sector representatives attended the world’s leading property forum, MIPIM 2015. It was on this international stage that leaders from the local authorities along with the Chair of the LEP, Roger Marsh OBE, unveiled £2.5 billion of investment ready opportunities.

The series of large scale investment and development ready opportunities, referred to as ‘The Big Six’, included development sites and schemes from across Leeds City Region, which offered in excess of £80 million worth of investment potential, and built on the City Region’s existing investment pipeline of £2 billion and demonstrated the increased market confidence.

‘The Big Six’ was identified by research conducted by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) and commercial property consultancy GVA, which identified the values for the sites and provided market commentary. Over the six months since the reveal, market confidence has continued to provide a positive backdrop to the ‘The Big Six’ and the investment opportunities have further developed, with news including the announcement of national and international occupiers, the breaking of ground and the approval of plans:

1. Bradford City Centre Growth Zone

The City Centre Growth Zone (CCGZ) is a cornerstone of the city’s ‘A City Redefined’ Scheme that has already resulted in significant investment into the public realm and will be further bolstered by the opening of The Broadway Shopping Centre by Westfield on 5 November. Since MIPIM 2015 the city centre has continued to progress with the former site of the police cells, The Tyrls, which overlook the award winning City Park, now demolished and preparations underway for the next phase of redevelopment in order to create No 1 City Park, housing 95,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space

2. South Bank, Leeds

As one of Europe’s largest city centre regeneration projects the scope of the opportunity at Leeds South Bank is huge. Progress is moving forward with both Google and Sky occupying Leeds Dock, Carillion preparing to start on Phase 2 of Tower Works, and the sale former site of the Tetley brewery going ahead. This winter also will see the much awaited opening of Leeds Station’s Southern Entrance. Recent months have also seen the Round Foundry Media Centre sold and Commercial Estates Group purchasing seven development sites in Holbeck Urban village.

3. Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone

The 142 hectare site located to the East of Leeds features four development sites, with each reaching milestones since MIPIM 2015. On Newmarket Lane, Veolia, is close to completing work on its new recycling and energy facility, which is due to enter use in 2016, while on the largest site Temple Green, Aire Valley Land Ltd has begun remediation and infrastructure works with the first phase of development to include a 1000 space park and ride facility. The two remaining sites, Thornes Farm and Logic Leeds have also seen further development and major occupier announcements. Wilton Developments has completed its Connex 45 development and let one of the units to FedEx, while Muse Development’s Logic Leeds has recently been declared as the location of a 50,500 sq ft state-of-the-art distribution warehouse for high end retailer John Lewis with the developer also completing the spec build of Logic 80.

4. The HD One, Huddersfield

Considered one of the most significant new leisure developments in the UK, The HD One will build on the success of the existing John Smith’s Stadium, Odeon 9 screen multiplex, gym, and restaurants already on the 53 acre site. A new £117m scheme will bring a further 500,000 sq ft plus of leisure facilities served by 1,750 parking spaces and a new hotel. Since being featured at MIPIM 2015, UK and international investment interest has been secured and major pre-letting enquiries generated.

5. M62/M1 Corridor, Wakefield

Since MIPIM Cannes 2015 there has been a significant uplift in demand for additional warehousing and distribution facilities in Wakefield. With further projects from Kier (in partnership with Maple Grove Developments, and Yorvale), Mountpark Logistics and Stoford in the pipeline and confirmation that Poundworld and TK Maxx will be creating an additional 1,000 jobs over the next four years at their new distribution facilities in Normanton and Knottingley, which are being developed by CDP and Caddick Developments respectively.

6. York Central

York Central is the City’s key regeneration site, situated adjacent to York railway station on the north-western edge of the city centre. The 38 hectare highly sustainable brownfield site is of strategic importance to both York and Leeds City Region’s economic growth and has recently been put forward as a potential location to receive Enterprise Zone Status. If agreed this will de-risk and accelerate delivery of this significant development opportunity, which could help to create up to 6,600 jobs in the city and add more than £1.1bn value for the region's economy.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of LEP, who leads the region’s MIPIM delegation, commented:

“When we announced the scale of the opportunities at these six sites, I noted that they underlined the strength of both Government and business confidence in our region as an investment-ready location.

“Now six months down the line, it is clear from the updates of both the public and private sector partners involved that market confidence isn’t just confined to the region’s city centres. In fact the continued impetus around all of our ‘Big Six’ investment opportunities, shows that the concept of the Northern Powerhouse is in fact a reality and that we are on the road to an economic transformation that will not only benefit ourselves but generations to come.

“A prime example of the confidence and conviction that exists is our Enterprise Zone, which in recent weeks has seen the John Lewis Partnership start work on its new distribution hub to serve both its store in York, which opened in 2014 and Leeds, which is due to open next year; and the letting of the first speculative development to FedEx. These developments further emphasise the potential our City Region has to attract investment from world renowned businesses and in particular how Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone will help to achieve the LEP’s target, of extraordinary economic growth, by becoming a logistics and distribution centre that is prepared not just for today but also tomorrow.”

Gareth Davies, Managing Director at Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd, added:

“I’m delighted The HD One is viewed as one of the Leeds City Region’s “Big Six” investment opportunities. We’ve seen a growing interest from investors and tenants, and we’re now moving into our next phase creating a unique leisure destination fulfilling our and the City Region’s vision”

Jon Kenny, Development Director at CEG, the developer behind Kirkstall Forge that has also recently acquired seven sites in Leeds South Bank said:
“It is an exciting time for the property market in Leeds City Region and CEG is delighted to be actively involved in delivering new residential and commercial opportunities in the city. The collective vision of the LEP and the Local Authorities for the city region is enabling the public and private sector to work collaboratively to deliver some ambitious developments.

“With this ambition in mind CEG is pleased to be involved in the Leeds City Region delegation for both MIPIM UK 2015 at Olympia in October and MIPIM 2016 in Cannes next March in order to promote the investment, development and occupier opportunities that exist here now or are being brought forwards.”

Leeds City Region’s presence at both MIPIM UK 2015 is delivered by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership with the strong support from the private sector with The HD One, CEG, Hammerson and Shulmans LLP joining headline partner Thorpe Park. To find out more information about Leeds City Region’s presence at MIPIM visit