South Leeds: Tower Works set for bold new era in revival drive

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Development bosses have fired the starting pistol on a sell-off that they hope will usher in a bright new era for a historic Leeds landmark.

Leeds City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) today announced that they will listen to formal bids for two parts of the Tower Works site in Holbeck’s so-called ‘urban village’.

One section of the former pin-making factory – famed for its distinctive Italianate towers – has already been transformed into offices that are home to a range of creative and digital firms.

And finding new uses for more land and property at Tower Works – including its council-owned Grade II listed Engine House building – is seen as a way of helping to breathe fresh life into the South Bank area of Leeds.

Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy at the council, said: “Tower Works is truly an iconic site. It played a pivotal role in the industrial heritage of the city and can be pivotal again in the regeneration of the South Bank.

“With fantastic connectivity and its proximity to the city centre, it will be a catalyst for Holbeck Urban Village, whilst retaining an important aspect of the city’s history.”

Katherine Langley, area manager at the HCA, added: “The proposed development at Tower Works will build on the success of the offices that were opened in 2012 and are now fully let, and will now ensure that the rest of the site is brought back into use.”

An announcement is expected on successful bidders by the end of the year. The council will retain ownership of the site’s towers as heritage assets.

Built in the 1860s, the original Tower Works factory ceased operations in 1981. Other South Bank regeneration schemes include the construction of Leeds City Station’s new southern entrance and the opening of the Tetley arts space.

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