New community hub set to continue delivery of Little London regeneration
Tenants and residents in an inner city Leeds neighbourhood will soon benefit from state of the art community facilities.
Leeds City Council has awarded Wates Construction the contract to deliver the Little London Community Hub.
Alongside a new community centre and local housing office, the project will deliver an expansion to Little London Community Primary School. The school expansion forms part of the council’s basic need programme to address capacity and sufficiency of school places.
Major investment is already underway to improve Little London through a multi-million pound PFI housing project which began in 2013 and has seen rapid progress in refurbishing council homes and improving the estate environment, with new build homes soon to be delivered.
The community hub occupies a prominent position in the centre of the Little London estate and has at various times over the years accommodated a range of important facilities for local residents, including council-owned shops, car parking, a social club, play space, a neighbourhood housing office, community centre and training rooms.
As part of planning for the estate’s regeneration, local residents and the council adopted a vision for the community hub in 2007, which at that time was to be delivered through the PFI project. Changes to government funding rules in 2011 required consideration of new ways for this to be achieved.
A new privately owned local shopping centre was opened on the site of the former housing office earlier in 2014 and the old shopping parade was demolished this month to make way for the school extension and new community facilities.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel said:
“The award of this contract is yet another step forward for the regeneration of this area.
“The vision for this development was set out by local people in the Little London Development Framework and was originally intended by the council to be delivered through the housing PFI Project. However, following the Government’s comprehensive spending review in 2010, we reluctantly removed the site from the PFI project but made a commitment to local residents and tenants that the vision would still be delivered within the same timescales as the PFI housing investment.
“This is a hugely important site for the Little London providing a range of essential services for local people from buildings that have, in large part, been in need of investment and refresh for some years.”
Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for children and families said:
“The comprehensive redevelopment of the site will ensure there are sufficient school
places in the community, whilst providing job and training opportunities throughout the construction phase.
“The new expansion to the primary school will ensure there are a number of extra places for children in the Little London community and will ensure the continued development of this areas.”
Phil Harrison, managing director, Wates Construction North, commented:
“Wates has a proven track record in delivering value-driven, inspirational education environments in Yorkshire and it’s our breadth of experience in building schools that places us as an ideal construction partner for Little London Primary School.
“The school will remain fully open throughout the works and we have an excellent site team in place that will meticulously manage the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and parents.”
For further information contact
Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team
Tel: 0113 247 4450