Historic buildings at heart of Hunslet Riverside regeneration plan
A plan to help deliver continued major regeneration of the Hunslet Riverside, a key part of the South Bank, is set to be approved by Leeds City Council’s executive board next week (19 April).
One of the largest regeneration programmes of its type in Europe, the South Bank scheme aims to double the size of Leeds city centre creating over 35,000 new jobs and more than 4,000 new homes.
Feedback from recent consultation, including 70 public events, has redoubled the council’s focus on the need to improve connectivity, have better pedestrian/cycle provision, more public transport serving the area and a desire for heritage buildings to be brought back into use.
Ongoing discussions have included identifying a potential solution which would bring the key historic landmark buildings of Hunslet Mill and Victoria Mill back into use. The former flax-spinning mills which were built in the 1830s and 1840s are Grade II and Grade II* listed. Discussions with the owners and Historic England have led to a possible solution which would see the buildings refurbished.
In addition, a new bridge is proposed across the River Aire for pedestrians and cyclists, which would improve links with neighbouring communities such as Cross Green and Richmond Hill.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“The South Bank is not a blank canvas and we have a duty and an honour to work with what is already in the area- including some important and historic buildings that the people of Leeds want to see returned to use.
“This plan places that at the forefront in terms of importance, along with conserving and re-using buildings like Hunslet and Victoria Mills to celebrate the industrial heritage of the area and maintaining a strong link with the past as the city moves into a bold future.
“Regenerating the area through new jobs, homes and businesses is important, but it is vital that there are also the supporting elements needed to make it a well connected and attractive place where people and families want to live and visit.
“The benefits of revitalising Hunslet Riverside and the South Bank need to be felt by the local communities. We want it to be part of our city rather than an island unconnected with the communities around it.“
To see the report on the Hunslet Riverside regeneration delivery plan to be considered by the executive board, visit www.democracy.leeds.gov.uk (agenda item 17).