Extra £678,000 to speed up work on Leeds Kirkstall Forge ‘lounge and ledge’ scheme

An artist's impression of the planned 'Lounge and Ledge' public space at Kirkstall Forge.

An artist's impression of the planned 'Lounge and Ledge' public space at Kirkstall Forge.

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This is what a new riverside ‘lounge and ledge’ area for the public - part of the flagship Kirkstall Forge masterplan - will look like.

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An extra £678,000 is being pumped into the development to speed up work on the public space, which will form a key part of the plan.

As previously reported, plans for the major new riverside community - which includes a brand new railway station due to open in October this year - have been in the pipeline for almost a decade. It will eventually include 1,355 homes, 146,000 sq ft of office space and a range of leisure facilities including bars, restaurants, retail, gym and a hotel.

An internal council report seen by the Yorkshire Evening Post reveals that extra funding is needed to bolster the main infrastructure contract, so that “any potential delay” can be avoided. The money will come from a separate account already set aside by the developer, but needs to be signed off by council bosses as part of the overall costs.

A report to Leeds City Council’s chief officer for highways and transportation says: “There is an opportunity to significantly enhance the Kirkstall Forge development by introducing the high quality public space overlooking the River Aire. The Lounge and Ledge platforms would be iconic architectural features and should help to promote the redevelopment of the site.

“The main steelwork required for the Lounge and Ledge can only be installed during the construction of the reinforced earth retaining walls and the only logical way is for this to be done is by varying the current contract.”

The Kirkstall Forge site, which sits off the A65 Abbey Road, has a heavy industrial history. A key element of the regeneration masterplan is a new railway station. This is currently being built by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in conjunction with the developer and the Department of Transport.

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