As I come into Leeds early in the morning twinkling red lights from the tops of cranes that dot the cityscape are a daily reminder of how the city is growing.
Walking through its streets only goes to emphasise the point. Construction noise is all around us, a constant cacophony which accompanies our daily lives, hoardings mask the work going on behind but they can’t stop us from seeing the skeletons of giant buildings growing from the earth. The pace of change is rapid.
I recently passed the former Majestic where work is cracking on a-pace. At the moment just the Grade II-listed facade stands as it was. This £40m scheme will breathe new life into the 1920s building, which has been a cinema, nightclub and bingo hall before being extensively damaged by fire in 2014. Leeds-based property firm Rushbond appointed construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine to handle its transformation.
The building, on City Square, is in a prime position and its seven floors and three-story atrium entrance will make for prime office space.
But will it be home to Channel Four? The Majestic has been mooted as a favourite and you wouldn’t bet against it. It should be complete in time for them to move in, is metres from Leeds Station and is a real focal point to the city.
Visitors - from Channel 4 or not - arriving at the station will have a more welcoming area to exit into too, after work to pedestrianise New Station Street is completed. But for the next few months I’m afraid that’s going to be another source of construction noise and disruption. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it wouldn’t have been built without a bit of mess.