Council bosses are today (Feb 10) expected to sign off just short of £1m to ensure the Victoria Gate development has a “seamless” arrival into its new Leeds city centre family.
Leeds City Council’s cabinet will today approve cash for a “significantly enhanced” package of public realm improvements at the £150m retail hub.
A report to be presented to the executive board today at its meeting at Leeds Civic Hall says: “The works will have a regenerative impact by allowing seamless connections between Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter, Briggate, Leeds Kirkgate Market and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The development will provide significant improvements to the public realm - roads, footpaths, and seating - around the site.
“The scale of the public realm works is significant and will actively regenerate the area.
“[Developer] Hammerson and the council have agreed that there is a need to provide high quality and extensive public realm works in this area to ensure that Victoria Gate is tied into the city’s fabric and well connected to surrounding destinations.”
The reinforced package of work is the latest incarnation of a scheme which has been developing since 2012. It is hoped the newly tweaked design - which includes taking down a bus stop on Vicar lane - will “enhance the pedestrian experience”.
The original allocation of funding agreed in 2012 has been increased and the executive board is today expected to authorise a spend of up to £885,000. Additional funding will come from so-called “windfall” revenues from the selling off of small parcels of land next to the former Millgarth Police Station.
The Victoria Gate development includes the largest John Lewis store outside of London.
It will also include 30 retail and restaurant units in the adjoining Victoria Gate Arcade alongside the new large casino and an 800 space multi storey car park.
The shell of the Victoria Gate Arcade and John Lewis building is now near completion, and the new multi-storey car park is well underway. The development is due to open in the Autumn.