Majestic redevelopment in Leeds city centre has link to D-Day

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A towering new presence has arrived on the Leeds city centre skyline – with the help of recycled steel first used during the Second World War.

A 37-metre-high crane has been installed within the central core of City Square’s Majestic building, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment.

Steel ballast used during the construction of the crane base originally formed part of the Mulberry harbours, artificial ports that helped supply and support Allied troops following the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.

Mark Finch, real estate director at building owner Rushbond, said: “The installation of the tower crane is a clear sign that the build is moving forward, and it is fascinating to discover the history behind the steel ballast holding the crane in place.

“From playing a significant role in the Normandy Landings during the Second World War, the materials used have been on some journey.

“Now 74 years later they are playing a part in the revitalisation of The Majestic.”

The building dates back to the 1920s and had spells as a cinema, bingo hall and nightclub before being badly damaged by a fire in 2014.

Work recently started on the transformation of the site into 66,000 sq ft of new office space, with the project due for completion in summer next year.

Construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine is the contractor on the scheme and oversaw the installation of the MR 295 luffing jib tower crane over the Easter weekend.

Project manager Steve Baker said it had been a “complex process”, made more difficult by the need to close off a section of Wellington Street during the lifting operation.