One of the city’s largest developments could create as many as 3,400 new jobs and deliver tens of millions of pounds worth of skills, training and apprenticeship opportunities over the next decade, a report has revealed.
The £400m Kirkstall Forge scheme, a mix of office and residential, is taking shape on the banks of the River Aire.
Its first 110,000sq ft office building is already 90 per cent let and developers CEG have now appointed architects to work on the development of the next 200,000 sq ft of commercial space. Meanwhile work is expected to start on the first 112 homes - a mix of mews houses and apartments next year - once final planning is approved.
The report by Arup outlines the importance of the scheme towards delivering 7.5m sq ft of employment space, which is estimated to be needed to support the city’s future economic growth.
Council leader Judith Blake and MP Rachel Reeves paid a visit to an onsite campus for students, youngsters not in education, training or employment and the long term unemployed, which has seen 45 go into full-time work, and many more into training and education.
Report author Tom Bridges said: “CEG has a proven track record of delivery through working in partnership with the public sector and a genuine commitment to supporting local people to access opportunities.”
Ward councillor John Illingworth praised efforts to get the unemployed into work, but said train services needed to improve: “We can’t handle more road traffic. They need to get the railway working properly, with more destinations, more frequency and more stopping. I’m sure that will come.”