First jobs at the Tower Works for 30 years

The first workers in 30 years have returned to Tower Works in Holbeck Urban Village following completion of the first phase of the redevelopment of this derelict factory complex.

Tower Works was one of the sites that powered the industrial revolution in Leeds but had been empty for over three

Tower Works was one of the sites that powered the industrial revolution in Leeds but had been empty for over three decades until the first new tenants moved in earlier this year. The historic buildings, which include landmark Italianate towers, have been restored and the former entrance has been extended to create managed workspace to help cultivate a creative and digital revolution in Leeds.

The development forms part of the prominent 1.2 Ha site, which is just a five minute walk from Leeds railway station and forms part of the gateway into Holbeck Urban Village.

Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of national housing and regeneration body the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which owns the site, said of the milestone:

“The redevelopment of Tower Works is a vitally important first step in boosting the local economy, as it will not only provide grow on office space to complement the facilities we already provide through the Round Foundry Media Centre, but offer a wider choice of small offices in central Leeds.”

The first phase of the development provides the ambitious city with 18,000 square feet of Grade ‘A’ office accommodation, managed by Creative Space Management, who also manage the adjacent Round Foundry Media Centre. The scheme, which offers 24 offices, is already 70% let. The office space is aimed at creative and digital industries, which are already well-established in Holbeck Urban Village.

The redevelopment of Tower Works – previously owned by the former Yorkshire Forward Regional Development Agency and now owned by the HCA – has been publicly funded, including £2m of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF). This has not only delivered the managed workspace and public realm but has also enabled the whole site to be prepared for future development. Importantly, this investment has also opened up the canal side, linking the scheme to the city centre and connecting the whole of Holbeck Urban Village to Granary Wharf.

Developers will be sought for future phases of the Tower Works development, which already has planning permission for a mixture of office space, residential accommodation and restaurant / leisure facilities.

Commenting more widely on the future of all former RDA assets across the Yorkshire area, Pat Ritchie added: “We are working with local partners across the Core Cities and Local Enterprise Partnerships in Yorkshire and the Humber to set up local stewardship agreements. These will ensure that other public assets owned and managed by the HCA are used to support economic growth with a focus on modern manufacturing and technology, the finance sector and the low carbon economy. This will also ensure that the right balance between local interests and value for money can be achieved.”