Milestone for landmark Leeds retail site

Topping out ceremony at the Victoria Gate, Leeds.
Topping out ceremony at the Victoria Gate, Leeds.
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The £150m Victoria Gate development scheme has marked a construction milestone with a traditional ‘topping-out’ ceremony.

The new John Lewis building has reached its full height - standing 34 meters over the city’s skyline.

The 250-strong construction team have successfully installed a steel diagrid frame for the John Lewis building as well as hanging the diamond facade panels on the upper stories the site.

This latest milestone marks a year to the completion of Victoria Gate and the opening of a new retail landmark for Leeds later next year.

Led by Sir Robert McAlpine, the topping-out ceremony featured a number of traditional elements, including a piper playing and nailing up an evergreen bough to acknowledge any dislodged tree spirits on the site, alongside a more conventional site tour.

Attendees included Hammerson CEO, David Atkins, Leeds City Council’s Leader Councillor Judith Blake, and Richard McAlpine, partner of the main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM), as well as key community partners.

Robin Dobson, director of Retail Development at Hammerson, said: “Topping-out is a significant milestone for Victoria Gate and we are pleased to be able to celebrate the occasion with our key stakeholders.

“From this point forward the scheme will really start to come to life as we count down to the opening of what is set to be the North’s premier retail and leisure destination.”