New bar for old Leeds Post Office site

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A Leeds bar group is set to invest £1.5m opening its flagship venue in the former Loch Fyne restaurant on City Square.

Arc Inspirations, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, beat a number of bidders - including national pub operators - to take over 8,000 sq ft premises in the old Post Office building opposite Leeds Station.

The site, which is owned by property tycoon Paul Sykes’ Highstone Group and was leased by Greene King until earlier this month, will be transformed into Arc Inspirations’ Banyan venue.

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Managing director Martin Wolstencroft said that winning the site was a coup for the group, which runs 14 venues across Leeds, Harrogate, York and Manchester. He said: “We’ve done very well in beating other operators to that site, there was national interest in taking over the building.

“It’s at the heart of City Square, and with the growth of the train station it’s a huge opportunity for us.”

Banyan Leeds will open in March 2016, creating 60 jobs. The acquisition comes just weeks after the £20m-turnover group made its first foray into the North West, opening Banyan Manchester in the city’s Exchange Quarter.

The 13,000 sq ft venue, which has 150 outdoor covers and is based opposite Selfridges, has been well received by the city, Mr Wolstencroft said.

Arc Inspirations now has a total estate of 90,000 sq ft across 15 sites, with bars in Headingley, Chapel Allerton, Roundhay and Horsforth.

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