Plans approved for Leeds Dock “super building”

An artist's impression of The Engine
An artist's impression of The Engine
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Developers say they are a step closer to reviving Leeds Dock after plans to convert an old casino into an office block were rubber-stamped.

Leeds City Council planning officials approved Allied London’s proposals for what it calls a “super-building workspace concept” in the former Alea casino premises.

The company said the 70,000 sq ft development – dubbed The Engine – will offer “super-specified, flexible space” aimed at creative, media and technology businesses.

Chief executive Michael Ingall said: “The creation of The Engine presents a unique opportunity for Leeds. Too many of the new, planned and vacant buildings in the city offer just a simple and traditional one-size-fits-all office space. This isn’t how the modern business wants to use space.

“Our view is that the modern workplace has changed and will continue to evolve. The Engine addresses this fact and will provide the modern, customisable space that fast-paced emerging and corporate businesses desire.”

Leeds Dock, formerly Clarence Dock, failed to live up to its pre-launch hype after opening shortly before the financial crash in 2007.

Many of its retail units were never occupied and prices of its upmarket flats have plummeted in the years since.

But Allied London has ambitions to turn it into a “destination” site with successful restaurants and leisure facilities.

It has already launched a water taxi service that takes passengers to and from Granary Wharf.

The council has also agreed in principle to support a new shuttle bus to the railway station and city centre and improved signage and bicycle routes.

Mr Ingall added: “We’re creating an inclusive fusion of architecture, landscaping, culture, leisure and modern industry to provide a genuine mixed use destination.

“We will transform and re-energise this vital part of the Leeds Southbank – giving the city back the waterfront it deserves.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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