Leeds Building Society adopts waterways near new city centre head office

Leeds Building Society has agreed to adopt a one-mile stretch of waterways cared for by the Canal and River Trust in the centre of Leeds.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 5:06 pm
Pictured (left to right): Richard Hand, site manager at GRAHAM, Holly Buckley, community manager at Leeds Building Society and Nicola Christian, business and corporate engagement partner at Canal & River Trust.

The society is set to move to a new riverside head office alongside the mile long stretch of waterway that will benefit from the project.

The two-year adoption, designed to help boost the environment and wildlife on the Society’s doorstep, will see the first year’s contribution being made by Graham - the main contractor for the new head office in Sovereign Street.

Leeds Building Society is set to move office workers from three city centre sites to its new head office on Sovereign Street

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The adopted section of canal is located between Wellington Place footbridge and Crown Point Bridge.

It includes stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation, waterways looked after by the Canal and River Trust.

The society aims to help maintain the historic lock gates at Granary Wharf and keep waterways clean by removing plastics and litter.

And it will help plant wildflowers and install bird boxes to help bring more wildlife to the centre of Leeds.

Nick Young, who chairs Leeds Building Society’s responsible business forum, said: “We’ve put reducing our environmental impact at the heart of our head office relocation project and our new building will be net carbon neutral and is ‘A’ rated for energy efficiency.

"So, it’s fantastic to be involved in a project like this, which will not only safeguard this important green corridor but also help us to play a role in supporting our new local community.”

Richard Hand, site manager at Graham, said: “As a responsible, sustainable contractor, we are committed to always protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

"Therefore, we are delighted to be working collaboratively with Leeds Building Society to help deliver a lasting impact on this important urban wildlife habitat that will, undoubtedly, encourage the local community to take a keen interest in the nature that is flourishing in the city.”

The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the Aire and Calder Navigation as part of its network of canals and rivers in England and Wales, is offering communities and businesses the chance to adopt a stretch of their local waterway.

By 2025 the Trust hopes that a quarter of the 2,000-mile-long inland waterway network will be adopted.

Nicola Christian, business and corporate engagement partner at Canal and River Trust, said: “Within Yorkshire alone we look after 316 miles of canals and rivers, with one million people living within 1km of their local waterway.

“Over the last 12 months, people have had a chance to spend more time locally and realise this fantastic, free resource on their doorsteps.

“Our adoption scheme is a chance for people to work in partnership with the Trust to look after a stretch of canal with friends, colleagues or neighbours. It is a great way to make a difference while enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits we know spending time by water brings.

“It's great to see Graham and Leeds Building Society supporting the local community with this adoption, what a wonderful way to celebrate your next office move, a gift that will encourage a workforce who spend much of their day at their desks to take a break and keep healthy."