Leeds could invest £85m in city centre homes and infrastructure

Leeds
Richard Lewis

Leeds councillors are being asked to support a proposal to invest a up to £85m in infrastructure to help deliver as many as 10,000 new homes in the city centre.

The meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board at Civic Hall next Wednesday will discuss work being undertaken to provide new and affordable homes, together with supporting infrastructure for a mixed community in the city centre.

A key element of this plan is a submission of a bid to the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to secure £85m of funding to invest in the city centre to support the development of the homes.

There are currently about 25,000 people living in Leeds city centre, but with demand for city centre living rising there is a capacity for up to 20,000 more homes in the future. If successful, this bid to the HIF would accelerate and unlock the delivery of 10,000 new homes in the city centre by 2033, with work potentially starting on new infrastructure works and supporting improvements before the end of this year.

The overarching ‘Leeds Living’ programme would see an improved range of housing options and investments in an expanded city centre, with enhanced connectivity with surrounding communities, improved transport links and accessibility plus new shared amenities such as schools, health and leisure facilities together with public spaces for recreation.

In order to ensure a mix of housing options, the council has set an ambition for 20%of all new homes in the city centre to be some form of affordable housing, while they will also look to maximise the benefits of utilising the low-carbon heat offered by the new District Heating network.

To help achieve the aim of having a mixed community in the city centre, the council is working with developers, landowners and partners to address issues in the housing market.

The Leeds Living programme will support and work in conjunction with other major city plans including the Leeds Inclusive Growth Strategy, the Best City Centre Vision, Our Spaces Strategy, the South Bank Regeneration Framework and the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy to help develop and realise the potential of Leeds city centre.

Leeds City Councillor Richard Lewis said: “The ongoing success of the South Bank programme shows what can be achieved by targeted investment in a range of new facilities to expand the city centre and make it a place people and families want to live and work in.

“We know more and more people are now wanting to live in city centres having all key amenities within easy reach. This investment would allow us to deliver even more positive growth in the city centre, with a vibrant mixed community and new facilities for everybody to benefit from.

“By enabling much improved connections with neighbourhoods adjoining the city centre we can ensure greater opportunities for residents to access jobs and learning opportunities as well as facilities and services.”