City Spotlight: Leeds

There is a lot of discussion throughout the commercial property market about Leeds becoming a real city to watch. According to Leeds city council, Leeds is the UK’s fastest growing city region with a £62.5 billion economy, this being said there is also the expectation of a further 25% increase over the next 10 years!

With London’s prices rising, investors are looking for elsewhere to put their money and businesses are looking for cheaper lease and rent agreements. Leeds City Regional Enterprise Partnership Chair, Roger Marsh OBE said: “Leeds City Region has continued to be a world class destination for foreign investment in 2016”. This, along with many other factors is driving property development in Leeds, in particular, the office sector.

Leeds as a city is thriving; experiencing extremely fast economic growth with the core strength being their £13 billion financial and professional services sector.

With the cities economy strengthening and population rising, employment is also growing which has led to a strong demand for office space. In the Savills – “The Future of Leeds City Region” – report, it was uncovered that city-centre take up is expected to reach a record-breaking 1million sq ft in 2017, forecasting huge growth in office space rentals. This increased demand is proposing a challenge for the city as commercial developments need to be planned and completed swiftly to meet the office demand from the growing workforce!

Two major examples of large scale and office developments are The Kirkstall Forge project and Wellington Place.

The Kirkstall Forge project is a massive development which is expected to create a whole community including; 1050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of office space (due to be ready for leasing in the 3rd quarter of 2017), 100,000 ft of leisure and retail space, a primary school and a railway station (which was launched in June 2016, making the area easily accessible – only a 1 hour commute from Manchester). This project is expected to create a mass volume of jobs and considerably support the cities economy.

Wellington Place, a scheme managed and developed by MEPC is a collection of buildings located in Leeds city centre with excellent transport links. The development started work on a fourth addition to the scheme: “3 Wellington Place” in August 2016 which is due to complete at the end of this year. This addition to the development will comprise of 110,000 sq ft of prime office space!

In addition to property development, there is a considerable expansion plan for the cities transport – The HS2 project. The HS2 infrastructure development will make the city significantly more accessible. The project is predicted to be a catalyst for development in the South Bank area of the city especially, which would create an excessive number of new jobs – driving the economy further, and in time, creating more commercial property demand! 

Aside from office space, 2016 saw the opening of the £165 million Victoria Gate shopping centre development in October. This development is expected to attract people to the city from across the country as it set to be one of the largest premium retail and leisure destinations outside of London.

The increased investment, employment and demand for offices and the anticipated increased traffic into the city from HS2, has created an impressive number of development opportunities across all sectors! As a Consultant specialising in Regional General Practice Surveying, I can say from a recruitment perspective, the market is definitely growing. So, if you are looking to grow your team or if you’re looking for a new opportunity please get in touch.

Bradley Flatt, Specialist General Practice Consultant, Foundation Recruitment

Photography - Nick Harrison

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