Leeds Kirkgate Market hotel: Residents asked for their views on six-storey hotel and state-of-the-art gym

People in Leeds are being asked for their views on plans for a new city centre hotel and gym.
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Leeds City Council is hoping to replace a row of vacant low-rise buildings on George Street with a “stylish” six-storey development that would include a 143-room hotel as well as a state-of-the-art gym and new commercial units.

Initial proposals for the scheme were considered by the council’s city plans panel at a meeting on Thursday, part of plans to regenerate the George Street side of Kirkgate Market. Nearly £14m worth of public money once committed to an unbuilt city centre development remains available to spend on the new scheme, it was revealed.

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And now a community consultation has been launched so that residents, businesses and other stakeholders can have their say on the project.

An artist's impression of the proposed George Street hotel and gym complexAn artist's impression of the proposed George Street hotel and gym complex
An artist's impression of the proposed George Street hotel and gym complex

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds Kirkgate Market is a much-loved landmark for the people of our city, and we’re determined to give it a future that is every bit as bright as its past.

“This exciting project would help us do exactly that, not only by creating a new gateway to the market from George Street but also by improving the attractiveness and vibrancy of the area as a whole. We would encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the consultation and play their part in making the scheme a success.”

The proposals can be viewed and comments submitted at the scheme’s website. People can also find out more at an open-to-all drop-in session taking place in the events space at the market from 11am to 2pm this Friday, June 30. The council says the results of the consultation – which runs until July 7 – will be used to help fine-tune a full planning application that is due for submission in the coming weeks.

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The scheme would be developed by the council, with the hotel element being run by a nationally-recognised operator. Its gym, meanwhile, would be run by the council, improving the local ‘fitness offer’ for people living in both the city centre and nearby communities.

The development would create approximately 50 new full and part-time jobs locally once operational, with around 80 jobs being supported during construction.

The new development would be part of a wider transformation of the area around the market, which is home to the Victoria Gate retail destination and other key sites such as the refurbished Leeds Playhouse and Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus.

The council hopes the project will drive further footfall into the market, which now attracts around 400,000 visitors a month following a multi-million pound investment programme.

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Improvements to the market include the creation of the Market Kitchen street food hall as part of a £14m refurb in 2016; an ongoing £10m project to repair the 1875 ‘blockshops’; and £1.4m of rent concessions to help traders cope during the pandemic.

The local authority is also considering bringing a container-style food village to the market’s outdoor area.