A start has been made to a major £5million programme of improvements to town centres and high streets across Leeds.
The work on buildings, public realm and highway improvements is part of Leeds City Council’s Local Centres Programme to support businesses and enhance the urban environment of important local shopping and services.
Since the programme’s launch in 2018, the council has worked with property owners, businesses and local people to bring forward an initial raft of 14 schemes, each potentially benefitting from up to £150,000 of investment and in some cases attracting other funding to further grow the benefits. There are 60 defined local centres across the city, many of which have benefitted from previous investment amounting to £21m from the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund over the last 10 years. The first schemes starting as part of the Local Centres Programme are:
Chapel FM in Seacroft money to provide for the expansion of facilities for local arts charity Heads Together to connect existing operations within the refurbished Old Chapel to an adjoining community hall allowing an expansion of services with a new kitchen and café. This will generate additional income helping to sustain services and improve the experience for visitors and participants at Chapel FM.
Rodley Town Street a scheme to upgrade and enhance the centre by providing improved pedestrian facilities including a new crossing and enhanced footways, better located street parking and relocating bus stops.
Cross Gates District Centre initial landscaping improvements to a prominent roundabout followed by new lamp post banners on Austhorpe Road and planters to add greenery and colour to the street.
Holbeck Neighbourhood Centre expansion of local CCTV coverage to improve community safety to encourage and support visits to local shops and services.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive board member for climate change, transport and sustainable development said:
“Our local centres are all unique and face different challenges to ensure they remain attractive and sustainable. This Programme is a key way for us to work closely with local stakeholders to prioritise investment and provide solutions to support the vibrant local centres for our communities”.
“This financial commitment reflects our recognition of the vital economic and social role our local centres play for so many businesses and residents.”
Linda Strudwick from Chapel FM said:
“We are delighted that the financial support from the council’s Local Centres Programme means we will be able to increase our offer to the residents of Seacroft and East Leeds, whilst also supporting local groups to use Chapel FM.”
In addition to the projects listed above, there are a further 10 projects which have been agreed for delivery as part of the Local Centres Programme including:
- New Wortley gateway feature
- Holbeck shopfront enhancements
- Chapel Allerton Centre public realm improvements
- Garforth Town End public car park
- Charing Cross Centre public realm improvements
- Boggart Hill Drive enhancements around shopping parade
- Ramshead Hill Parade public realm improvements and shopfront enhancements
- Meanwood District Centre highway improvements
- Morley Artspace & Digital Screen
- Harehills Road adding greenery to highways improvements.
A further round of projects is expected to come forward for implementation later in 2020.