New Leeds city centre green space could spark local growth

Proposals for new, high quality green space at Sovereign Street in Leeds are coming before councillors for approval.

Plans to create a new contemporary landscaped area in the city centre to provide a place for people to relax and unwind in are being prepared by Leeds City Council.

The new £2.5 million green space will be a catalyst for further development of the area and improve opportunities to enjoy the open air for people of all ages in line with Leeds’ ambitions to be a Child Friendly City.

The Leeds City Council-owned Sovereign Street site has housed a temporary pay and display car park since plans were scrapped for the Criterion Place development.

Part of the site will be home to the new Leeds headquarters of KPMG- the first major office development in the city centre for over five years.

The new public area fits the council’s ambition to extend the city centre southwards and address its shortage of quality green space. It is also intended to be the forerunner of the City Centre Park south of the River Aire and should help reinvigorate the city’s development market.

An ambitious council programme of development and supporting developers in the city is already well under way. Projects expected to stimulate economic growth include the Trinity Leeds and Eastgate shopping developments, Leeds Arena, Sovereign Street itself and the emerging South Bank.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development, Leeds City Council, said:
“When times are hard and the economy is facing big challenges new development tends to stagnate- but in Leeds we are not simply accepting that but taking action to do everything we can to stimulate growth in the city.

“And it’s not all about attracting new investment and the benefits that brings; we also want to make sure that our city has the best infrastructure for its people and future by protecting and providing precious green spaces. Our plans for Sovereign Street help us to achieve all those aims and further help our ambition to be a Child Friendly City.”

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked at its meeting on 5 September to approve the concept design scheme and agree that it be submitted for planning permission, along with agreeing to put £2.5million into the green scheme.

If planning approval is granted, a full design and cost report will be brought back to executive board. Consultation has already taken place and further consultation is planned.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk