September 6, 2023

Tower Works BTR scheme completes


Sir Robert McAlpine has achieved practical completion of 245 new homes at the historic Tower Works scheme on Globe Road in Leeds city centre.

Legal & General (L&G) acquired the development in 2021, investing £57m on behalf of its Build to Rent Fund (BTR Fund) and Access Development Partnership (a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and PGGM).

L&G has funded three build to rent (BTR) schemes in Leeds to date, including Mustard Wharf – which is adjacent to the site. With the Tower Works development now complete, L&G will market both schemes as the neighbourhood of Mustard Wharf, delivering 500 homes and over 15,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.

The scheme, which sits alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, has been built by Sir Robert McAlpine on behalf of the joint venture partnership of Ask Real Estate and Richardson, in conjunction with Homes England.

Designed by Ryder Architects, Tower Works features two residential buildings with studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments and duplexes, ground floor commercial spaces and areas of public realm. Located to the south of the railway station, it creates a new pedestrian route through from the city centre to the Holbeck Urban Village neighbourhood.

Tower Works has achieved WiredScore Platinum certification, making it the first residential development in Leeds to attain the globally-recognised verification of infrastructure connectivity. The accreditation confirms that the properties are digitally future-proofed and have the best possible level of connectivity.

Commenting on achieving completion, Craig Allen, Sector Director, Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “Reaching practical completion at Tower Works represents a momentous milestone in the transformation of this historic site. It presents a wonderful opportunity to honour the remarkable efforts of the entire project team, while also celebrating the local, social and economic impact of the project.”

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment Management, added: “It’s fantastic to see the completion of Tower Works and open for our occupiers. Leeds is one of the UK’s largest cities in terms of population and economic output, yet supply of housing has been severely constrained over the past decade. As the largest investor and owner of build to rent in the city, we’re delighted to deliver the neighbourhood of Mustard Wharf at Tower Works, and play our part in the landmark South Bank regeneration area.”

John Hughes of Ask Real Estate added: “We’ve worked in close partnership with our joint venture partner Richardson and our contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to achieve completion, taking a highly collaborative effort from the outset. It’s a real achievement for the team to now mark the handover of this landmark residential scheme to L&G having overcome the multiple challenges of Covid, Brexit and rising construction costs.”

He continued: “During the delivery programme we have been proud to support the city by contributing to the annual Leeds Light Night event and we’re looking forward to seeing the first residents move in this month.”

Commenting on behalf of Homes England, Ian Hall, Senior Development Manager, North East, Yorkshire and The Humber said: “The completion of this latest phase of Tower Works represents the fulfilment of a long-held ambition to provide a new exciting and modern chapter in the life of this historic site. We are delighted to see the delivery of high-quality homes in a landmark location which will bring economic and social benefits into this part of Holbeck and contribute to the redevelopment of the wider South Bank area of the city.”

Established in the 1860s as a steel pin factory for carding and combing in the textile industry, Tower Works closed in 1981. The neighbourhood is today home to a thriving media and technology community in the heart of the South Bank regeneration area which has become a global destination for investment, sustainable living, culture and creativity. The Tower Works site features the three original Italianate towers: Verona; Giotto and Little Chimney, which form a distinctive focal point of the regenerated area.

The delivery team also included engineering firm WSP and project managers and QS Faithful and Gould.