Historic Tower Works attracts seven new tenants as transformation nears completion

As Leeds’s historic landmark Tower Works in Holbeck Urban Village nears completion the building, which has been transformed into 18,000 sq ft of contemporary office space, has agreed terms with seven companies one month before it officially opens in May.

The development is already 50 per cent let and the competitive proposition of flexible terms within a range of spaces, designed for growing companies from 1 to 30 people, is proving popular with creative technology companies from across the region keen to locate in one of Leeds’s most important redevelopment schemes close to the creative and technology community clustered to the south of the city centre.

New tenants include commercial photographer Tracey Welch, who is moving from her previous base in Sheffield and ‘Brightbox’, a cloud technology service which is relocating its 10-strong staff from Leeds Media Centre, bringing with it a global client base which includes Channel 4, Orange, ASDA, MTV and Amnesty International. ‘Re-Form Landscape’, specialists in landscape architecture and urban design already based in the city centre, will also join the new Tower Works community alongside branding and packaging designers ‘Robot Food’, which is relocating from Harrogate to take up two feature offices within the scheme. Tower Works also will be home to ‘NW Architects’, a four-strong team which specialises in retail, energy from waste (recycling plants), housing and student accommodation.

The creative companies moving into Tower Works compliment the burgeoning digital and new media industries that have grown up around the Round Foundry Media Centre and Marshall’s Mill, located in the Round Foundry at the heart of Holbeck Urban Village. Two further companies are expanding from the Round Foundry into spaces at Tower Works: a global IT support company, ‘Olympic Support’, with offices in over 14 different countries and ‘Hodgetastic’ a technology events company and the brainchild of entrepreneur Dom Hodgson who launched ‘ClicknMix’ a new online confectionary retailer, in September 2011. Tower Works will be home to Dom’s first physical sweet shop as well as the entrepreneur’s third online company, advertising business ‘EmberAds’.

On completion in May 2012, Phase One of the Tower Works development will help to create an important link between Holbeck Urban Village and the award-winning residential and commercial waterfront location Granary Wharf, where the new southern entrance to Leeds Train Station will open in 2014.

Creative Space Management (CSM) is acting as managing agent and sole commercial lettings agent for Tower Works, extending its role at the Round Foundry Media Centre and as commercial agent for Igloo Regeneration’s Round Foundry and Marshall’s Mill developments and ISIS Waterside Regeneration’s Granary Wharf scheme. The company has a wealth of experience managing a number of multi-occupancy office developments across the UK which have a reputation for attracting digital and new media companies, including Electric Works in Sheffield and the newly opened Toffee Factory in Newcastle.

Comments Paul Taylor from CSM: “The response so far has exceeded our expectations in some tough market conditions and we’re pleased that so many tenants will be moving into the development as soon as it opens in May. We predicted a strong demand for accommodation from companies that have outgrown their offices and who require flexible, attractive facilities and Tower Works offers this, but encased in a building full of historic charm. I urge any businesses looking for an office which combines original architectural character with modern, hi-tech facilities, to act now as we are seeing high demand.”

The redevelopment is designed by Leeds-based Bauman Lyons Architects as an exemplar in sustainable urban development. Construction and restoration of the listed site has been commissioned from Ilkley-based Quarmby Construction Company Ltd. Tower Works is funded and managed by Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with additional funding support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which has invested £1.9m into the project.