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The Light retail and leisure centre


£2.5 billion has been invested in large scale commercial property development in Leeds over the last decade and a further £4.9 billion is under construction or in the pipeline.

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Leeds economy. No ordinary economy.

You are here: Leeds economy > Investment

Commercial property development
Massive investment in commercial property development continues to transform the Leeds landscape. Major office developments in the city centre reflect the rapid growth of financial and business services. Companies such as Addleshaw Goddard, Barclays Mortgages, First Direct, PricewaterhouseCoopers, DLA and Direct Line Group have demonstrated their confidence in Leeds by moving into new, purpose-built offices.

A total of £373 million has been invested in city centre office schemes over the last ten years, bringing the total office floor space in the city centre to over 1 million square metres. There has also been exceptional growth in city centre mixed use developments, with £600 million currently under construction and a further £1.5 billion proposed.

Commercial development plans in Holbeck Urban Village will lead to the development of a thriving business and residential community to the south of the city centre. Redevelopment of the waterfront area was spearheaded by the opening of the renowned Royal Armouries Museum, and is continuing with developments at Clarence Dock and Brewery Wharf. Both schemes have a development value of over £100 million each.

Retail development
On the retail side, major developments include The Light and shopping centre refurbishments at Leeds Shopping Plaza, the Headrow Shopping Centre and Kirkgate Market. There have also been substantial store expansions by Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Debenhams.

Innovation in design has played a major role in the renaissance of the city, with award winning developments such as Princes Exchange, The Light and Millennium Square setting new standards in urban design.

Company investment
Since 1990 there have been over 100 foreign direct investment projects in Leeds, 36 of which have been expansions by companies with an existing presence in the city. Over the last decade, investment by manufacturing companies exceeded £263 million. Significant expansions by Schneider Electric, Scientific Games International, John Blackburn, Lever Faberge and Arla Foods have re-affirmed the city’s strength as a centre for manufacturing excellence.

There has also been major investment around the Quarry Hill area of the city. Developments include West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds College of Music, and Quarry House, home to the NHS Executive and the Department of Work & Pensions.

The BBC has moved into a newly developed regional headquarters at Quarry Hill, while plans for a major office and hotel development have recently been approved.

Investment in Sport
Sports and leisure facilities in Leeds have been enhanced with the opening of the David Lloyd Tennis Centre, and the South Leeds Stadium, Athletics and Bowls Centre. A proposed £14 million swimming and diving centre will add to amenities already on the site, which include a 2,500 seat grandstand, running track, outdoor and indoor tennis centre and football complex.

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