House of Fraser Leeds: Pictures show work underway as former Briggate department store to be demolished

Work is now underway on the former House of Fraser building in Leeds, which is set to be demolished.
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Plans to demolish the former Briggate department store, which was once the site of the city’s first ever Woolworths store, and replace it with student flats was backed by councillors last year. Developers will now build a 10-storey block for 369 university students in its place, though space for shops on the ground and basement floors will be included. Pictures show scaffolding has gone up outside the building as the construction gets underway.

During a Leeds City Council hearing in June, councillors said they’d be pleased to see the back of the “ugly” House of Fraser building, which was put up in the late 1950s. Councillors did express concerns about how Central Road, which runs to the rear of the property, will function.

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The street is used by both pedestrians and traffic, with developers Dukelease promising to retain the disabled parking that exists in the area as part of the proposals. The new building’s student reception will also be accessed from Central Road.

The plans were approved by councillors last yearThe plans were approved by councillors last year
The plans were approved by councillors last year

The developers said the issue was subject to “ongoing discussion” as the road is owned and maintained by the council. However, they promised that benches, improved paving and “breakout spaces” on Central Road would all feature as part of the scheme.

The property site was once occupied by Leeds’ Grand Central Hotel, until that was demolished to make way for a purpose-built store for Woolworths in the 1920s. That building itself was knocked down to make way for a new structure around 30 years later, with Woolworths staying there until the 1980s.