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Space for Creativity

28 April 2015
Space for Creativity
Crowned UK and Ireland’s best neighbourhood at the 2015 Urbanism Awards the Holbeck Urban Village brings forth hints of a rich past in the form of a modern sustainable community presenting an assortment of commercial spaces newly available to accommodate your creative needs.

Siting on the south side of the River Aire with its looming red-brick structures and classic Italian towers that blend harmoniously with contemporary state-of-the-art design, the area once the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, is the new pride of Leeds.

The history of the area runs as far back as two hundred years when it was the village of Holbeck, where activities such as flax spinning, iron casting and machine manufacturing were carried out in a range of steam-powered mills and workshops. Holbeck has also been home to three of the greatest innovators of the time: Colonel Thomas Harding, John Marshall and Matthew Murray who had helped shape industry in Britain through their feats of engineering leaving in their wake this iconic architectural legacy.

Seeing the major opportunity here to put new uses into old buildings along with new buildings and spaces while retaining the invaluable heritage, a regeneration project was spearheaded by the Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Forward to make a real difference to the lives of residents and businesses in this area. Among the key themes behind the project include creating new opportunities for employment, living and leisure through the formation of a mixed-use, sustainable community with a distinctive sense of place. The project is also envisioned to improve connectivity between the city centre and the surrounding communities of the south which will be further strengthened by the new Leeds Station Southern Entrance expected to reach completion in autumn 2015.

Having begun the journey of redevelopment in 1999 focused on the movement of traffic, the creation of high quality public open spaces, and the quality of the built environment, the area is once again back at the forefront with the flourishing creative and digital business community in Leeds occupying the foundries, mills and workshops passed down by steam engineers, textile workers and tailors.

Round Foundry

Based in the heart of this new creative community is the Round Foundry Estate, which is now home to the immensely successful Media Centre among a unique cluster of listed and new buildings. Within a short walk from the train station and with immediate access to the motorway network, each building within the Round Foundry is attractively refurbished offering an impressive array of both creative office spaces and accommodation. Marshalls Mill, Dry Sand Foundry, Green Sand Foundry and Saw Mill Yard are some of their names that reminisce of a bygone era. Set around beautiful cobbled courtyards all just a stone’s throw away from each other is also a mix of cafés, pubs and restaurants with mouth-watering cuisine and some of the best Yorkshire ales, wines, or coffee for the discerning gastronome.

Round Foundry Media Centre

Originally built in 1795–1797 by Matthew Murray, James Fenton, David Wood and William Lister, the media centre was established as the first phase of a £30 million redevelopment of the Round Foundry and constitutes high quality, contemporary serviced office space ideal for creative, digital and media businesses offered on very flexible terms. Complete with meeting rooms and conference facilities which also contain AV equipment, high speed Internet access, and a variety of catering options, it is also an excellent location for meeting clients or showcasing new products and services. Also on offer are flexible work spaces and virtual office services with a postal address and professional telephone answering service.

Office spaces available (From 1st June):

  • Round Foundry Media Centre (G6) – 259 sq ft
  • Round Foundry Media Centre (F52) – 496 sq ft

Marshalls Mill

A former flax spinning mill on Marshall Street, part of a complex begun in 1791-1792 by John Marshall, Marshalls Mill is now a grade 11* listed building redeveloped to emphasise the historic fabric of the mill. The complex comprises of a remarkable blend of contemporary features together with impressive, high quality infrastructure and modern amenities. Marshall Mills also includes the availability of super-fast, fibre broadband at speeds of up to 1GB/second.

Office space available:

  • Marshalls Mill (5th Floor - North) – 1,855 sq ft
  • Marshalls Court (Ground Floor) – 2,775 sq ft
  • Marshalls Court (1st Floor South) – 1,020 sq ft
  • Marshalls Court (2nd Floor South) – 1,400 sq ft

Tower Works

Founded by T.R. Harding to make steel pins for the textile industry the Tower Works sits bordering the Round Foundry with its three distinctive Italian Renaissance towers dominating the city’s skyline. Subsequent to the first phase of its redevelopment, the entrance buildings to the establishment are combined with a new adjoining building and sit around a public square adjacent to the canal. Tower Works also offer a range of high specification offices and studio spaces especially designed for digital, media and creative industries.

Office spaces available (From 1st June):

  • Tower Works (00/02) – 225 sq ft
  • Tower Works (00/07) – 246 sq ft

Witness to an industrial revival of a distant past, Holbeck still prides itself for its former glory as it triumphantly moves well into the 21st century. Geared up as an ‘Urban Village’ to face up to an impending digital era, it promises once again to nurture a new generation of creative genius and bring forth Leeds’ next revolution.

Kam is a Business Writer for Leeds Living. Having joined in April 2015 she writes for the Strictly Business section and specialises in business editorials.