New plan for Leeds city centre 'kissing towers' site

A brownfield city centre site in the heart of Leeds could see the construction of three new buildings.

A new HQ for professional services firm KPMG could be built there after the firm signed a nine month exclusivity period agreement with the city council to explore the idea.

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The site, at Criterion Place off Sovereign Street and Swinegate, has been a car park since a 115m scheme to erect two towers fell by the wayside in 2008.

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Company Sovereign Leeds is working with KPMG and the council to kick-

start the project.

KPMG has 750 employees in Leeds at its Neville Street building. The lease on the building expires in 2015 and the firm is considering its options.

Iain Moffatt, KPMG's Leeds office senior partner, said: "In the face of a challenging property development market we are pursuing an innovative route to meeting our future office requirements by taking on an active role of development partner.

"Though at a very early feasibility stage, our agreement with Leeds City Council is an exciting step forward in our planning towards the future of KPMG in Leeds. We are continuing to consider all options but clearly will be focusing on the opportunity presented by Criterion Place in the coming months."

Coun Richard Lewis, council member responsible for city development, said: "We are pleased to be working with KPMG to deliver their new HQ in Leeds.

"The council is keen to reinvigorate development in the city centre.

"This is an exciting opportunity which will help fund the proposed city centre green space on this site and boost the construction industry, bringing additional investment and jobs to the city."

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