24 Big Changes in the Pipeline for Leeds

· Ali Turner · Business

Exciting times ahead!

Two Springwell Gardens

New developments, big moves and the regeneration of a major landmark – it’s an exciting time to be in Leeds!

After two years of taking it day-by-day, it’s time to start thinking about the future again – and what better way to do that than by revealing all the exciting plans in the pipeline for Leeds? From major developments that will change the city’s skyline to hospitals, law schools and libraries, find out what the future holds as we bring you 24 of the biggest announcements and most exciting changes coming soon to Leeds.

The new student development on Briggate

House of Fraser

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Grand Central Place is the new vision for the former House of Fraser store on Briggate. It’s a mixed-use development with two floors of ground-level retail space and nine floors of student accommodation. Once complete, it will provide 369 beds across 131 self-contained studios and 47 cluster flats, all of which will have access to a raft of community facilities. Downstairs, the 35,000 square foot retail space will be split into smaller units to cater for modern shopping habits. Work on the new vision, which comes from Manner, the development arm of Dukelease, is expected to start in early 2023.

The new marathon inspired by a sports legend

Rob Burrow is a Leeds legend. The former Rhinos scrum-half was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019 – since then, he’s become a symbol of strength and hope, courageously sharing his journey and tirelessly raising funds to support families living with MND. Now a new marathon has been launched in his honour. Due to take place on Sunday 14th May 2023, it will recognise Burrow’s contribution and raise funds for his latest project. The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal is seeking £5 million to create a state-of-the-art MND care centre, right here in Leeds.

The £9 billion transport upgrade for the North

Network Rail Trans Pennine Route Upgrade

Credit: Peter Devlin

It’s no HS2, and it may feel more like a consolation prize than a real act of levelling up, but nevertheless, the Transpennine Route Upgrade will have a long and lasting impact on the North. The route, which stretches from York to Manchester stopping at Leeds and Huddersfield along the way, covers 76 miles and serves 23 stations. The government recently trebled their spending, taking it from £2.9 billion to £9 billion, to build new tracks and fit the full route with the latest technology, including complete electrification and full digital signalling. £959 million has just been released to progress the next phase.

The future of the old Yorkshire Bank HQ

Downing Yorkshire Bank

Credit: Downing

The old Yorkshire Bank HQ has been earmarked for demolition and a new multi-use development will take its place. Downing Living (Merrion) Ltd Partnership Incorporated has unveiled plans for two parcels of land next to first direct arena. If approved, it’ll give us one of the tallest buildings in the region, a 39-storey, 117-metre behemoth with 714 student bedrooms across a mix of studio and cluster flats. That will sit alongside a second building with 490 student beds and a third building with a 107,000 square foot event space complete with conference area, auditorium and bar.

The tallest building in Yorkshire

Two Springwell Gardens

2 Springwell Gardens is set to change the city’s skyline. Once complete, this neck-craning tower will take the title of Yorkshire’s tallest building. At its highest point, it will reach 142 metres into the sky, beating even Bridgewater Place. The 46-storey skyscraper will have 301 square metres of retail and leisure space on the ground floor, as well as 604 one and two-bedroom flats. On the top two floors, duplex apartments offer terraces with a view, while the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 33rd floors all boast community spaces and urban gardens where you can relax and unwind as you look out over the city.

The transformation of City Square

City Square is a major gateway into the city. Thousands of people pass through it every day, both on foot and by car, but that will soon change as plans are afoot to pedestrianise the square. Work is already underway to create a new flow of traffic that bypasses City Square – only buses, taxis and authorised vehicles will be allowed to pass through, helping to reduce traffic and shave time off your commute. Meanwhile, extended walkways and cycle lanes will welcome you into a new public space that’s big and bold enough to give visitors the welcome they deserve. Plus, it’ll double as an event space.

The Bank of England’s new northern hub

Office worker

The Bank of England has announced plans to open a new northern hub in Leeds as part of its mission to increase its presence across the UK. It’s a big vote of confidence in our financial services sector and a huge opportunity that will raise our profile nationally. Currently 98% of the bank’s staff are located in the South East, but this new northern hub will start to redress this balance. It will give them access to a broader pool of talent, enabling them to recruit from across the UK, which in turn, will help them better represent the people they serve and better deliver on their ambitions.

The new state of the art hospital buildings

Hospitals of the Future is an exciting new project that will transform healthcare in Leeds. It will create two new state of the art hospital buildings. For the first time ever, they’ll be able to bring all children’s services under one roof, in a space that’s been specially designed for young people and their families. But that’s not all. Adults will benefit too, with new ambulatory care, including outpatients, imaging, day surgery, therapies and endoscopy. Plus, the project will give us a new maternity centre, complete with both consultant and midwife-led units, assessment, induction and neonatal care.

The reinvention of grade-II listed building

Bank House

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Joe Sheerin.

Bank House is the Marmite of the architectural world, a brutalist masterpiece you either love or hate. So it’ll come as no surprise that new plans to renovate the building have been met with mixed reviews. Palace Capital plc wants to add a three-storey extension to the top of the building, adding a new eight-storey atrium and more than 110,000 square foot of office space. The transformation would improve sustainability, including achieving BREEAM Outstanding and EPC A ratings, which would put Bank House in the top three per cent of commercial buildings in the UK.

The new flexible workspace in a former casino

Allied London TMT hub

The former casino at Leeds Dock will soon be given a new lease of life as All Work & Social have announced plans to repurpose the 60,000-square-foot space by creating a new development targeted at creative, media and digital businesses. Department Leeds Dock will be a flexible workspace with a mix of hot desks, resident desks and private suites, plus a raft of extras like meeting spaces and creative studios. Once complete, it will have an on-site coffee shop, bar and restaurant, with all the delights of Leeds Dock on its doorstep.

The new apartment building that will regenerate Mabgate

Mabgate Development

New plans from HBD aim to breathe new life into Mabgate, a longstanding creative hub in the midst of the city. They want to turn a brownfield site into a landmark development with 310 apartments centred around a communal heart with space to meet, relax and collaborate. The built-to-rent apartments are designed to offer choice and flexibility to people traditionally left behind by the rental market. As well as the flats themselves, the new plans include communal, co-working and creative spaces that tenants can take advantage of, creating a sense of community within the development.

The new multimillion pound law school

Leeds Beckett University Law School

Credit: Tilbury Douglas

Leeds Beckett University is on a mission to improve its Law School facilities. They’re working with Tilbury Douglas to create a dedicated and purpose-built home for Leeds Law School, just west of Queen Square House. Once complete, it will bring all their law facilities under one roof, with dedicated teaching and research facilities for staff and students alike. The building will have a Harvard-style lecture theatre, reading room and courtroom, as well as an open access learning area. The new Leeds Law School will help to strengthen our position as the UK’s biggest legal hub outside London.

The long-awaited realisation of Leeds 2023

Leeds 2023

Credit: Ant Robling

It’s been a long time in the making but Leeds 2023 is almost here. It promises an entire year of cultural submersion, 365 days dedicated to playing, performing and producing, singing, speaking and sharing. Their plans revolve around 12 central events, but they’ll be supplemented by a packed calendar of creative experiences that span art, sport and theatre. They’re working with local, national and international artists, as well as city centre institutions and local communities to bring culture to the people across a whole year of activity. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned, can you?

The £150 million mixed-use development on the South Bank

West Bank Leeds

The four-acre site next to Bridgewater Place, which currently houses a call centre and car park, is the focus of recently announced plans from Stamford Property Holdings and Shelborn Asset Management. The £150 million Westbank Leeds development that will replace it promises 500,000 square foot of Grade A offices with ground-floor leisure space and a luxury hotel with its very own sky bar. As part of the process, they’re going to make significant improvements to the public domain, with a focus on usability, flow and connectivity, after all, it’s just 350 metres from Leeds Train Station.

The new plans for a specialist Leeds Mathematics School

The former headquarters of Leeds Building Society are a fitting birthplace for the Leeds Mathematics School (LMaS). Plans are afoot to transform the building into a centre of excellence for advanced level mathematics, a state-of-the-art sixth form school for students who have a flair for maths. Their curriculum will go beyond formal A-level qualification, inviting students to explore subjects that are in high demand, like robotics and artificial intelligence, and to develop supplementary skills that will help them succeed in university and their final career. It’s set to open in September 2023.

The new vision for the former Yorkshire Post site

Former Yorkshire Post Development

New plans have been announced for the old Yorkshire Post site on Wellington Street. Urbanite have proposed building three mixed residential towers. Two of these buildings, which stand at 42 and 32-storeys consecutively, will house student flats, with a total 1,763 beds alongside a dedicated spa and wellbeing suite. The third building, which is the smallest of the three at 25 storeys, will offer 348 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with a shared terrace that looks out over the river. As part of the project, they’re undertaking public realm improvements, including planting a micro forest.

The landmark park and development at a former brewery

Vastint, Tetley Brewery

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey with this one. Vastint’s Aire Park has been in the offing for years, but two major milestones have now been hit. The Meadow Lane section of the park, which will be made up of eight acres of interconnected green space, is now nearing completion. What’s more, Vastint has broken ground on the five-acre section that stretches towards Crown Point Road. Meanwhile, planning has been approved for phase two – a seven-storey building on the site that will hold 75,000 square foot of office space and almost 7,000 square foot of flexible retail and leisure space.

The British Library of the North in Temple Works

Temple Works

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ali Turner

The prospect of Temple Works restored to its former glory and open to the public is a dream come true and so we couldn’t be more excited to tell you about the British Library’s plans to open a public-facing centre in the Leeds landmark. Plans for the £75 million project went in front of the council on 21st July 2022, and they voted to release £5 million from the £25 million pot earmarked for the project by the government. It will be used to complete urgent stabilisation work on the building. Once the project has been completed, the new British Library will open up their collections to us all.

The new National Infrastructure Commission

National Infrastructure Commission

Credit: Kevin Leighton

As part of their plans to ‘level up’ the UK, the government has announced plans to open a new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) office in Leeds. Once it opens at the back end of 2023, it will provide impartial, expert advice on long-term economic infrastructure challenges, covering everything from energy and transport to water, flood protection, waste, and of course, digital infrastructure. The aim here is to better address regional differences in infrastructure needs by ensuring the people advising on future infrastructure are more representative of the public they serve.

The future of the former Kays warehouse site

Platform Sweet Street West

After a consultation earlier this year, developers Westrock and Platform are seeking planning permission for a new mixed-use development on the site of the former Kays warehouse. If approved, Sweet Street West will create 451 studio, one, two and three-bed flats, as well as 14,863 square metres of office space and 2,984 square metres of commercial space. And that’s just the beginning. They’ve also made an outline application for 900 homes, 7,000 square metres of office space and 200 square metres of commercial space across three buildings, with 1-hectare of greenery at its heart.

The new hotel on Sovereign Square

2 Sovereign Square

A 12-storey, 305-room hotel is the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Sovereign Square. The 140,000 square foot hotel has been designed by Leeds-based DLA Architecture and takes inspiration from both surrounding buildings and the city’s textile heritage. Upon completion in 2024, it will be managed by Interstate Group, under the dual Hyatt House and Hyatt Place brands. Alongside the bedrooms, the new hotel will boast an on-site gym, restaurant and bar, as well as meeting rooms to cater for the local business community. It will also have a rooftop bar for guests and locals to enjoy.

The arrival of the FCA in Leeds


When it comes to financial services in the UK, Leeds is the second city, so it will come as no surprise that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has chosen our fair city as the destination of its new office. They’ve already signed a lease for 6 Queen Street and it will act as the base for their Digital Delivery Centre, alongside other key FCA business teams. They were drawn to the city, not just because of our background in financial services, but also because of our growing reputation as a digital and tech hub. The FCA is now recruiting to fill 100 new roles at their Leeds base.

The new regional office of the Ministry of Justice


Earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice announced that they will be opening seven new Collaboration Centres around the UK – and one of them will be in Leeds. The move will see them creating a larger office space with a mix of traditional workstations and shared spaces, meeting and training rooms. It’s all part of their Places for Growth programme, which aims to move civil service roles out of London and the South East. In total, the new offices will see 2,000 more jobs in areas like finance, human resources and digital move out by 2030, allowing them to take advantage of the national talent pool to attract the best staff.

The two new rail stations in the suburbs

White Rose Rail Station

Connectivity has always been an issue here, but for people in South and East Leeds, it will soon get a little easier. Two new rail stations are planned, one at White Rose and the other at Thorpe Park. The first represents a £22 million investment in the city – it’s already under construction and is expected to open in 2023. The latter, which will include a park and ride station, is yet to start but still expected to open in 2024. The government recently announced that the two projects should be fast tracked, but since they’re already in the later stages of planning, it’s unlikely to move their open dates forward.