EXCLUSIVE: Leeds Building Society to relocate HQ to new city centre premises

Leeds Building Society
Leeds Building Society
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Leeds Building Society is to relocate its headquarters into new premises in the city centre.

The mutual is to move all of its 900 head office staff to Sovereign Street from its current home on Albion Street.

Leeds Building Society has been based in the city centre since 1875 and has been located at its current location since 1930.

However, significant increases in the society’s head count has resulted in the old offices becoming too small to accommodate the business with huge amounts of staff having to be located in two neighbouring sites.

The move to Sovereign House will see Leeds Building Society move into the former home of law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

The process is expected to take two years.

GOODBYE OLD FRIEND: Leeds Building Society is leaving Albion Street for a new city centre home.

GOODBYE OLD FRIEND: Leeds Building Society is leaving Albion Street for a new city centre home.

The flagship Leeds Building Society branch on Albion Street is unaffected by the move.

The move marks the latest step in a remarkable transformation of the area around Sovereign Street. Once a fairly down-at-heel area, it is now home to Addleshaw Goddard, accountancy giant KPMG and will soon be the new home of Leeds Building Society.

Citing the large growth in staffing as the reason for the move, a spokesperson for the society said the new Sovereign House location would allow it to move into an energy-efficient and well-connected new home, allowing it to bring its whole workforce under one roof and help reduce costs.

The spokesperson said: “The move will be phased to ensure there is no disruption to our day to day business of helping people to save and have the home they want.”

Leeds Building Society Chief Executive, Peter Hill

Leeds Building Society Chief Executive, Peter Hill

“The move is part of long term plans for the sustainable growth of the Society and demonstrates our commitment to in Leeds and Yorkshire, and its continuing success as a centre for the financial services industry.

“We will retain our flagship branch on the corner of Albion Street and The Headrow after the office move.”

Peter Hill, chief executive, told The Yorkshire Post: “We have been in Leeds for over 140 years and I am delighted that we’ve secured a building which keeps us in the heart of the city.

“This move is part of our of long term plans for the sustainable growth of the Society and demonstrates our commitment to Leeds and Yorkshire.”

Much of the growth in head count has been driven by the need for a more digitised offering to customers and a number of inward investment programmes.

Leeds Building Society, the fifth largest in the country, increased in profit to £63.2m for the first half of last year after enjoying strong growth in the residential mortgage lending market.

The business grew net mortgage lending by more than £1bn in its last set of financial results, taking total mortgage balances to £14.2bn, up from £900m the previous year.

Its membership has also swollen to 778,000.

The mutual also completed a refurbishment programme of its national 54-branch network last year, a process it said was ahead of schedule and under budget.

The new premises at Sovereign House have been empty for the last few months after previous occupant Addleshaw Goddard relocated across the street to the new Sovereign Square development, based on the site of an old Queens Hall music venue which once hosted concerts by the likes of The Clash and Joy Division.

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