Celebrating the past, highlighting the achievements so far and looking to what the future holds for South Bank Leeds
Reconnecting South Bank
In the early eighteenth century Hunslet and Holbeck were agricultural/cloth-making villages entirely separate from the town of Leeds.
By the 1820s, Holbeck became the cradle of the Industrial Revolution. The area now known as Holbeck Urban Village was the location of the works of John Marshall, the pioneer of the Leeds flax-spinning industry, Matthew Murray’s Round Foundry and later Harding’s Tower Works. Hunslet became an industrial suburb of Leeds, a centre for the manufacture of steam engines, locomotives, traction engines, pottery, glass and printing.
Hunslet and Holbeck were true industrial suburbs, comprising a great deal of industry and the back-to-back houses of thousands of people. They retained a very strong sense of community identity throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century. It was the wholesale clearance of housing and industry in the 1960s and 70s which destroyed the close physical link between these suburbs and Leeds city centre and detached Hunslet, Holbeck and Beeston from the prosperity of the city centre.
South Bank Leeds will reconnect these suburbs, pay tribute to its industrial past and ensure that residents benefit from the economic prosperity of city centre.
South Bank Leeds is already home to ASDA Walmart’s European headquarters, aql, The Tetley and the proposed site for the HS2 station. It has well established city living and boasts a range of leisure attractions meeting the needs of residents to live, work and relax.
Heritage buildings at Tower Works, Temple Mill, Round Foundry and Marshalls Mill are the new homes to the city’s creative and digital sector, whilst the new educational hub is establishing. The Royal Armouries and The Tetley provide culture and education whilst the cafés, bars and restaurants offer the perfect place to socialise.
South Bank Leeds is one of the largest regeneration sites of its kind in Europe with the private, public and third sectors working together to transform it into an attractive, welcoming and safe environment.
“The revitalisation of the city’s South Bank over the last decade is nothing short of remarkable. It is fantastic to see the area developing into a strong community which blends living, commerce, education and leisure so successfully.” - Jonathan Maud, Managing Director, Rushbond Plc.
What is next?
South Bank Leeds is growing and offering immense opportunity for work, leisure and living. It encompasses many highly rewarding development opportunities. In the future, it will be home to the new HS2, creating an international gateway to the region. There are fantastic economic benefits surrounding the arrival of HS2 as well as vastly improving connections between surrounding communities.
A new 3.5 hectare park will be created as a centrepiece of The Arbour, a proposed network of green spaces connecting Temple Works in the West with Leeds Dock in the East. The River Aire will be reactivated to become an active and significant part of the city centre, becoming home to world class leisure, culture and event spaces, whilst new bridges across the river will offer pedestrian and cycle friendly access to and from the South Bank.
Leeds is forecast to generate 32% of employment growth within the Yorkshire and Humber region. Around half of these jobs will be located in Leeds city centre where the employment base is expected to grow by more than 24,000; more than half of these will be in Holbeck Urban Village, Central South Bank and Leeds Dock. The South Bank has the capacity to drive forward growth, as the city centre is growing organically toward the south where 8,000 homes will be delivered by 2028.
An education hub is already being created with the new Leeds College of Building campus, Leeds City College campus and UTC Leeds that will shape the next generation of engineers. Creative minds will thrive working in close proximity to key players in the industry, as the clustering of over 300 creative and digital businesses in the area will continue and rise in number at locations such as Duke Studios, Round Foundry, Leeds Dock, Marshall Mill and Tower Works.
“The redevelopment of the South Bank area of Leeds will be the biggest change the city centre has seen in more than 100 years. — Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for transport and economy