The Leeds City Council is urging residents of the city to contribute their ideas and opinions on the ambitious regeneration plans for George Street, which forms part of the historic Kirkgate Market in the city centre. The council aims to replace a row of vacant low-rise buildings on George Street with a modern six-storey development, featuring a 143-room hotel, state-of-the-art gym facilities, and new commercial units.
The initial proposals for this exciting venture were presented to the council’s city plans panel during a meeting held on Thursday, June 22. Subsequently, a community consultation has been launched to ensure that residents, local businesses, and other stakeholders have ample opportunity to express their views on the project.
Interested parties can access the proposals and submit their comments via the dedicated website for the scheme at georgestreetleeds.co.uk. Additionally, an open-to-all drop-in session will be held at the market’s events space from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, June 30, where individuals can learn more about the plans.
The consultation period will extend until July 7, during which time the council will collect feedback from the public. This valuable input will then be utilised to refine the complete planning application, which is scheduled for submission in the coming weeks.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, executive member for economy, culture, and education at Leeds City Council, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Leeds Kirkgate Market is a beloved landmark in our city, and we are committed to ensuring its future is as vibrant as its past. This exciting project will not only create a new gateway to the market from George Street but will also enhance the appeal and liveliness of the entire area. We encourage as many people as possible to participate in the consultation and contribute to the success of this scheme.”
The proposed development aims to complement the ongoing transformation of the vicinity surrounding the market. Notably, the area is already home to the Victoria Gate retail destination, the recently refurbished Leeds Playhouse, and Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus.
Furthermore, this initiative is expected to drive increased footfall into the market, which has experienced a surge in popularity following a significant investment program, attracting over 400,000 visitors each month.
The council will oversee the development of the project, with the hotel segment managed by a nationally recognised operator. Additionally, the council will operate the gym, enhancing fitness options for residents in both the city centre and neighbouring communities.
Upon completion, the development is projected to generate approximately 50 new full-time and part-time job opportunities within the local area. Furthermore, around 80 jobs will be supported during the construction phase of the project.
The council’s call for public input signifies a commitment to ensuring that the regeneration plans for George Street align with the needs and aspirations of the community. By actively engaging with the residents, businesses, and stakeholders, Leeds City Council aims to create a vibrant and prosperous future for Kirkgate Market and the wider city centre.