Former flax mill’s 21st century success story signals vibrant future for Leeds’s South Bank

Simon Forster from Robot Food and Jess Fowle of True North at Marshalls Mill. Photo: Simon Dewhurst.
Simon Forster from Robot Food and Jess Fowle of True North at Marshalls Mill. Photo: Simon Dewhurst.
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A landmark Leeds building has strengthened its reputation as one of the success stories of the city’s burgeoning South Bank area.

Holbeck-based Marshalls Mill has hit 100 per cent occupancy for the first time since its refurbishment in 2001, it was announced today.

The Grade II listed former flax mill reached the milestone figure after two existing tenants – design agency Robot Food and TV production company True North – expanded into new office space there.

Spread over six floors and part of the Round Foundry estate, Marshalls Mill is home to a thriving community of around 20 fast-growth digital and new media companies.

And its upwardly-mobile profile mirrors the wider regeneration aspirations for Leeds’s South Bank, which runs along the southern side of the River Aire and stretches from Holbeck to Leeds Dock.

True North creative director Jess Fowle said: “True North has never been busier. Marshalls Mill – with its industrial heritage – suits that feeling of industriousness perfectly.

“It’s just round the corner from the station, so it’s convenient for our team.

“But it’s also perfect for London commissioning editors to visit us and they are always blown away by our office and post-production space.”

Robot Food and True North’s expansion deals were secured by commercial agents Creative Space Management.

It also worked on a recent move by media communications agency We Are Boutique from Marshalls Mill into another building on the Round Foundry estate.

Leeds’s South Bank covers the equivalent of 250 football pitches and is being promoted by the city council as offering some of Europe’s most exciting regeneration opportunities.

The council’s vision for the area includes the construction of 4,000 homes and the provision of 35,000 jobs across sectors such as financial, creative and digital.