Leeds Building Society to move to new home in city

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.
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Leeds Building Society is to leave its Albion Street headquarters, its home since 1930.

The mutual is to move all of its 950 Leeds-based office staff to Sovereign Street in the city centre over the next two years, having outgrown its current home.

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

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 spokesman 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 spokesman 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.

“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.”

Peter Hill, chief executive, told the YEP: “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. 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.

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.