Enterprise Zone forges ahead with 325,000 sq ft of employment floor space

The pace of development in the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone is accelerating fast as it is announced that 325,000 sq ft of employment space is now in the development pipeline.

This is a further boost to the busy enterprise zone, where all remaining land at Thornes Farm is under offer and proposals are under consideration on 70 per cent of available land at Newmarket Lane.

A total of 190,000 sq ft of employment floor space is currently under construction across the two council-owned sites and a further 135,000 sq ft is in solicitor’s hands or under offer, with the combined development pipeline worth up to £200 million.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy, said: “The upsurge in development activity has been fuelled by growing business confidence during 2013.

“It has enabled a number of deals to progress, which will provide good quality employment space for manufacturing companies and allow then to grow their businesses within the enterprise zone. Some 160,000 sq ft of new employment floor space will be completed during 2014.

“Despite the tough economic conditions over the last couple of years, the enterprise zone is living up to expectations with two construction projects already on site and a strong pipeline of development now coming forward.”

Covering a total of 142 hectares of development land, the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone was launched with government support in April 2012 to attract investment and drive economic growth across the Leeds City Region.

Companies locating within the enterprise zone can take advantage of a range of benefits including reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period plus a tailored package of business support and fast track planning.

Leeds City Council has worked closely with developers and occupiers, providing additional incentives such as deferring payment for land until buildings are complete and dedicated employment and training support to help companies recruit the right people to support expansion plans. Schemes currently under way and in the pipeline mean that the enterprise zone is on target to exceed the pace of development set out by the council.

Watershed Packaging, who announced plans to build a new factory and relocate its operations to the enterprise zone in June 2012, are due to complete early in 2014, bringing 40 new jobs and allowing the company to fulfil its strong future order book.

Veolia is also pressing ahead with the development of the new £150m recycling and energy recovery facility on the Newmarket Lane site. The 165,000 sq ft facility, expected to be operational by spring 2016, will have the capacity to process up to 214,000 tons of waste a year and generate around 11MW of electricity, enough to power 20,000 homes.

When the plant is operational, it will create around 45 new permanent jobs and, during construction, up to 300 people will work on the site.

Muse Developments is also expected to bring forward plans for the next phase of development at Logic Leeds, following completion of the new spine road to open up access to the 49 hectare site.

Mike Dove, agent for Temple Green, the largest site of the enterprise zone’s four sites, which is being developed in a joint venture by Evans Property Group and Keyland Developments, said: “We are facing a situation of extreme under-supply in the quality industrial market across the region. The design and build market is showing considerable signs of improvement and there has been no speculative development for at least five years.

“As a result, terms are hardening and occupier packages for quality properties reflect this. The upsurge in activity and interest in the enterprise zone is therefore extremely encouraging.”


Notes for Editors:

1. Covering a total of 10.6 hectares, Thornes Farm was forecast to be developed at a rate of 15% per annum but more than half of available land will be developed by the end of 2014 against a target of 30% of the site.

2. DTZ’s report on the Leeds commercial property market, ‘Putting Risk Back in Perspective – Annual Outlook 2013’, points out that there is strong demand but limited supply of industrial units in the 50,000 to 100,000 sq ft bracket, while there was only one vacant unit at around 100,000 sq ft available in the West Yorkshire / M62 corridor.

For further information contact:

David Baggaley, Marketing Manager

Tel: 0113 247 7851

Peter Anderson Beck, Head of Aire Valley Leeds Programme

Tel: 0113 247 4686