£12m plans to improve the look of Leeds city centre to go before regional investment chiefs next week

Plans to make parts of Leeds city centre prettier and easier to access could be one step closer this week, as the city’s “grey to green” scheme clicks into gear.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 4:50 pm

The project, a document claims, is designed to “address low levels of greenspace and poor-quality public realm” in parts of Leeds city centre, and to help improve walking and cycling into the area for surrounding communities.

Stage one of the scheme, which was approved recently, aims to create extra public realm improvements in the area linked to the Corn Exchange Gateway

It added that the completed scheme would provide 6,700 square metres of new green space and public realm, nearly a mile of new cycling and walking improvements and the creation of 123 new construction jobs.

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An artist's impression of the Corn Exchange, after imrpovements.

It added that the scheme had recently received £400,000 from West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to go towards the total cost of £1.186 million.

WYCA also recently approved £915,000 of improvements to Meadow Lane, Crown Point Road and Sovereign Square footbridge.

According to a report earlier this year, the scheme plans to “unlock” the building of 1,150 new housing units, as well as the first phase of the “Aire park”, which it hopes could help reduce carbon emissions.

The scheme is split into four parts – the first being a footbridge at Sovereign Square across the River Aire to connect the South Bank with the city centre.

It also contains a number of green spaces – including the re purposing of a surface car park in Meadow Lane as well as a greener and more environmentally-focussed space in front of the Corn Exchange.

According to a report from earlier this year, the total estimated cost for the scheme £11.9m – around £8.6m is expected to come from WYCA’s Getting Building Fund (GBF).

Members of WYCA’s West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee will discuss the plans at a meeting on Tuesday, June 8.