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Property Investment in South bank Leeds – A Guide by Aspen Woolf

The Leeds South Bank property has caught the eye of real estate inventors in recent years. The South Bank is the scene of an ambitious regeneration project that will complete the city and transform its identity. 

The ongoing development focuses on an area equivalent to 350 football pitches, enhancing an already powerful location by attracting skilled workers and global investment – all thanks to improving infrastructure, better transport links and other facilities.

Continuing investment projects in Leeds South Bank regeneration area will generate significant opportunities and create thousands of jobs – making it an attractive destination for investors looking to capitalise on the potential of one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities.

In this article, we take a look at the opportunity South Bank property presents and why property investors should take a closer look at this transforming area of the city. 

What is the Leeds South Bank Development Plan?

Leeds South Bank project is a major regeneration initiative transforming the area south of Leeds City centre. The Leeds South Bank Regeneration Framework outlined various housing, commercial, leisure and retail projects to make South Bank Leeds an attractive destination for business, residents and visitors. 

South Bank is situated south of the River Aire, consisting of the Holbeck and Hunslet districts. Located in the heart of the city centre, it offers excellent connectivity with Leeds train station, the M1 and M62 on the doorstep. 

The Leeds Southbank project will generate significant economic growth for the region. In the next decade it could see the creation of 35,000 new jobs and a potential economic output of £3.7 billion

Transforming South Bank Leeds

For many years the South Bank area was associated with derelict buildings and industrial estates. Today, Leeds South Bank is one of Europe’s most significant regeneration projects. Leeds City Council aims to turn Leeds South Bank into a ‘distinctive European destination for investment, living, learning, creativity and leisure’.

Major projects in South Bank Leeds include Temple District, Whitehall Road Commercial Development South Bank, Sky Gardens South Bank Leeds (the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Midland Mills and the creation of an iconic residential tower) and Leeds Dock. 

New investments and projects are adding to Leeds’ standing as a major business centre and one of the best places for investment. There’s a knock-on effect for South Bank property, attracting a buoyant tenant market offering plenty of buy-to-let and investment opportunities for investors.

What is the Southbank Development Leeds Known For?

Since the city announced the South Bank planning statement more than a decade ago, huge progress has been made. With exciting investment heading into the area over the last few years, Leeds is fast becoming a headquarters location while innovative South Bank commercial property offers attractive workspace for a number of industries.

The South Bank is already the economic centre of Leeds. Several high-profile multinational companies, including ASDA, SKY True North, Bloom Media and Flashtalking have their headquarters in Leeds. Eversheds and Ernst & Young have their regional headquarters in the area.

More than 3,000 people live in the Leeds South Bank area, which boasts over 250 businesses. Cultural attractions include the Royal Armouries Museum and The Tetley, and the site is a rapidly growing hub for the city’s creative, digital and tech industries. 

What are the Key Areas of Leeds South Bank?

Leeds South Bank is divided into a number of areas. The right South Bank property for sale for investors will depend on the market they are targeting and the type of property they prefer to invest in.

  • South Bank Central

South Bank Central is home to ASDA’s UK headquarters and The Tetley. The area is a growing hub for businesses as well home to a residential community. Overall, this area is known as a modern and attractive commercial area offering high-quality office space with excellent connectivity to wider Leeds and beyond.

  • Holbeck Urban Village

Holbeck Urban Village is a mixed-use area combining commercial, residential and cultural spaces. The area has attracted businesses in a variety of sectors, including creative industries, tech and media. With independent shops, cafes and galleries, it’s also a thriving location for residents and visitors

  • Leeds Dock

This waterside development is a thriving creative hub with a range of office, retail and residential spaces. Plans for restaurants, bars and cafes continue to expand the area and enhance the attractiveness of the city’s waterfront.

  • Temple District

This major development is set to create a mixed-use neighbourhood transforming the former textile and manufacturing centre into a vibrant live and work community. Globe Point, a self-contained workspace with roof terraces opened at the end of 2022 and The Globe Square will offer Grade A office space upon opening

  • Hunslet Mill and Victoria Works

Hunslet and Victoria Mills are a collection of 5 Grade II listed buildings. The historic mills will be transformed into a new creative and cultural hub for the city. A combination of office space, studio space, a hotel and cultural and leisure facilities will transform the area.

The Hunslet Mills £50-million residential scheme is due for completion in 2023, and includes a total of 350 one and two-bedroom southbank apartments. Developments like these former mill conversions help bring people into the area and drive investment, which is good news for buy-to-let property owners and capital growth potential going forward

  • Whitehall Road

The £280 million development of Whitehall Riverside Leeds is moving forward with a new masterplan to provide a mixed-use scheme just three minutes’ walk from Leeds train station. Submitted plans include 215,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and a 108 key aparthotel.

  • Leeds City College

Leeds City College welcomed 3,000 students in the 2019/20 academic year to a new £60 million campus on the South Bank. The state-of-the-art Quarry campus will be an asset to support the development of skills and the creation of jobs in the Leeds City Region

How has Leeds Been Regenerated? 

Public and private investment has transformed Leeds in recent years. Projects like the Trinity Centre and Victoria Gate shopping and leisure district help to attract more people to the city. New housing, from high-rise South Bank apartments to luxury flats to affordable housing has helped to revitalise areas and cater to the city’s growing population. 

Leeds Dock Development has seen the revitalisation of historic buildings along the River Aire, transforming the city’s waterfront. Investments in public transport have made it easier to get around the city and beyond. 

Looking at Leeds as a whole, regeneration in recent years has earned it the crown of the UK’s fastest-growing city with a regional economy worth £64.6 billion. Over the next ten years, Leeds’ economy is expected to grow by 21%. It currently has a combined population of 3 million and a workforce of 1.37 million

New Development Plans

Leeds has undergone significant regeneration over the past five years, and new projects in the pipeline from luxury flats to shopping centres to work spaces are contributing to Leeds’ continued growth. Exciting projects that could be in the works include: 

  • Westbank Leeds 

In January 2023, Southside Leeds Limited submitted a planning application for a new £300 million mixed-use scheme. The project proposes to deliver 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation alongside a luxury hotel and leisure space

  • Mixed-Use Skyscraper

Plans have been submitted for three buildings comprising a mixed-use skyscraper scheme in Leeds City Centre. The project sees a 45-storey hexagonal tower including 464 build-to-rent homes as well as 40,000 square metres of office space

When it comes to Leeds South Bank property, there are plenty of existing and upcoming opportunities for investors. By backing the city’s growth potential, especially with new housing developments in the works and new commercial and leisure projects making South Bank property increasingly attractive, investors can target a thriving buy-to-let market and stand to experience growth in capital gains. To find out more about investment opportunities in Leeds South Bank, get in touch with our property experts. 

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