Topping Out

As the redevelopment of the landmark Tower Works site in Holbeck Urban Village, Leeds, reached its highest point, the traditional construction milestone was commemorated in a topping out ceremony held last week.

Tower Works is now only three months away from opening and Creative Space has begun showing people around the remarkable building, which includes smaller and more affordable space than is available anywhere else in the area.

Due for completion in January the restoration and conversion of one of the most significant industrial heritage buildings in Leeds will provide 18,000sqft of office space which will be let on flexible terms for the burgeoning digital and new media industries that have grown up around the media centre at Round Foundry. The redevelopment is being funded and managed by Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with additional funding support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Installation of the last section of copper cladding to the link section between the old and new elements of the building marked the topping out, which was conducted by Naz Parkar Head of Area for the Homes and Communities Agency, Cllr Richard Lewis Executive Board Member for Development and the Economy for Leeds City Council, Irena Bauman of architects Bauman Lyons, Roger Quarmby of Quarmby Construction and Julie Kenny from Yorkshire Forward.

Naz Parkar commented – This milestone is particularly significant given the climate of cuts and economic uncertainty through which the construction has continued. Tower Works, with its three striking Italianate towers, has a rich industrial history dating back to 1864 when it was a steel pin factory. An important architectural legacy, the building once again will become a creative place of work, for a new generation of digital and media industries.

On completion in January 2012, Phase One of the 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.

Cllr. Richard Lewis commented – Highly visible on the Leeds skyline, when completed Tower Works will be a vital component in realising the vision for Holbeck Urban Village and the southern city centre, further strengthening the city as a competitive regional business centre.

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.

Sustainability is integrated into the fabric of the development with both active and passive environmental design features including greatly increased insulation levels, optimised fenestration for natural light & solar gain, photovoltaic solar panels and a building management system for ventilation, low-energy heating and lighting to reduce carbon emissions.

Creative Space Management has been appointed as managing agent and lead commercial lettings agent for Tower Works, extending its role at the Round Foundry Media Centre and as commercial agents for Round Foundry estate, Marshalls Mill developments and Granary Wharf.

Paul Taylor, Director of Creative Space Management said -Having worked for 10 years with creative and digital media businesses in Leeds and in other core cities we know that there is a demand for accommodation from companies that have outgrown the space in which they started out or who require better quality facilities. Tower Works will provide spaces created for businesses from 1 to 30 people with an original architectural character that will appeal to anyone who is looking to combine a love of beautiful buildings with the demands of a hi-tech, modern business.