Kirkgate regeneration work starts in £25m bid to transform Corn Exchange area of Leeds city centre

Work to regenerate historic Kirkgate in Leeds city centre  has got underway as part of a  £25million highways project set to transform the area around the Corn Exchange.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 11:45 am
Works around the Corn Exchange in Leeds. Photo: Gary Longbottom

The project, which started last year, will also see the bus network in Leeds city centre improved.

Work has started on Kirkgate to create wider pavements and upgraded bus shelters.

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An aerial view of the Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange scheme, along with street transformation projects on the Headrow and Cookridge Street, is part of the Connecting Leeds programme.

Connecting Leeds aims to reduce through traffic in the city, improve journey times and create more appealing alternatives to the car.

The scheme will introduce priority measures for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, safer crossings and segregated cycle facilities all while improving the public realm in key areas.

The project, which will contribute towards tackling the climate emergency and Leeds City Council’s ambition to increase bus use, is currently running alongside another regeneration project which will transform the area directly in front of the Corn Exchange into a green space suitable for events and outdoor seating.

Works around the Corn Exchange in Leeds. Photo: Gary Longbottom

As part of the Connecting Leeds programme, Meadow Lane is also undergoing a complete overhaul and the four-way carriageway will be reduced into a two-way road making much needed space for the new city park, which is due to be complete by next year.

Once complete early next year the Corn Exchange area and Meadow Lane will act as a key gateway for people visiting the new South Bank.

Coun Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate said: “It’s fantastic to see this project progressing well. I would like to thank anyone that’s been impacted by the works so far for your patience during any disruption caused and I know that the work we are doing here will make a positive difference to Leeds when it's complete.

Works around the Corn Exchange in Leeds. Photo: Gary Longbottom

"The ambitious plans to reduce the highway on Meadow Lane in favour of creating green space will aim to help the council meet our Best City ambition by creating an opportunity for a world class public space that improves the environment, encourages more city centre living and provides better walking and cycling routes.

"This work forms part of the works we have already done to transform the city centre into an even better place to visit, building on the work done on the newly transformed Headrow and Cookridge Street.

"Leeds City Council has set targets to become net zero by 2030 and we are hopeful that schemes such as this one will help us achieve them.”

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