Leeds's former Challenger tank factory at Radial Park set for major homes development

The former tank factory in Leeds is being demolished.
The former tank factory in Leeds is being demolished.

A former tank factory in Leeds that played a role in both world wars could become a major new homes development.

Leeds property consultancy Gent Visick has negotiated the sale of the 45-acre site at Crossgates, known as Radial Park, for an undisclosed sum to Strata, on behalf of Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Gent Visick also advised the global asset manager when it originally acquired the site in 2001 from Vickers Defence Systems, and has since secured a wide range of lettings at Radial Park.

Tenants have included Royal Mail, ITV, a car retailer, and West Yorkshire Police, which used it as a firearms and dog training centre.

Vickers Defence Systems manufactured both Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 tanks on the site until the 1990s and before that it was used to produce munitions and heavy armoured vehicles, including the Centurion and Chieftain.

Gent Visick has also managed a complex planning process at Radial Park and previously advised on the sale of 12 acres to house builder Bellway, which has already developed the Western side the site.

Demolition of Radial Park’s 300,000 sq ft factory is currently underway.

Rupert Visick, from Gent Visick, said: “Radial Park is one of the region’s most famous industrial sites and as a company we have been intricately involved in every stage of its evolution, as we’ve worked towards unlocking its residential potential.

"It has proved to be a hugely successful investment for Columbia Threadneedle and is now ready to be regenerated and given a new lease of life, which is a vision that Strata is ideally placed to achieve, so we’re delighted to agree this significant deal.”

Gemma Smith, Sales and Marketing Director at Strata, said: “We’re really excited about this new chapter at Radial Park. The location has a lot to offer and our vision for the development will benefit the wider community.

"The scale of the development means that we can offer a wide range of home designs, this will create a vibrant new community for people that want to stay in, or move to, this area.”

Gent Visick is a niche property consultancy providing support during acquisitions, sales, lettings and investment transactions.

Its services include industrial agency, building consultancy, investment and strategic consultancy.

The firm recently opened a second office just off Oxford Circus, in London.