Construction starts at Holbeck’s historic Tower Works

Work has started to build 245 new homes at the historic Tower Works site on Globe Road in the South Bank area of Holbeck.

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd has now commenced ground works on the 1.13 hectare site and construction is expected to complete early 2023. Sir Robert McAlpine will deliver the scheme which is designed by Ryder Architecture and it is expected that up to 275 local jobs will be created during the construction phase. The company is also the lead contractor on the adjacent Mustard Wharf development.

Tower Works has a rich industrial history. Established in the 1860s as a steel pin factory for carding and combing in the textile industry, the works closed in 1981 and have been earmarked for regeneration for many years. The original Victorian buildings, designed by Thomas Shaw, are famous for their Italianate influence which is most obvious in the three prominent towers.

The £57m Tower Works scheme is being delivered by Richardson and Ask Real Estate in conjunction with Homes England and with funding from Legal & General’s Build to Rent Fund (BTR Fund) and Access Development Partnership (a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and PGGM).

When complete Tower Works will provide two new residential buildings with 1, 2 and 3-bedroom build to rent apartments and duplexes to the south of the railway station. The scheme design includes a pedestrian route which will connect the communities in Holbeck and Beeston Hill with Leeds city centre and three new public squares designed around each of the site’s iconic chimneys.

Commenting on the start of works Ben Holmes, Real Estate director at Richardson said:

“We are pleased to be on site and looking forward to making swift progress in delivering these superb new homes and at the same time writing the next chapter in the history of Tower Works.

“The site’s three landmark towers, Giotto, Verona and Little Chimney are very much part of the Leeds skyline and they form a unique focal point for the scheme, being pretty much the first thing you see as you enter the city by train. Richardson and Ask are really proud to be regenerating this great location and in doing so creating new homes and public open spaces, delivering a bright new future for these superb Grade II listed structures.”

John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate added:

“This is an especially important scheme for Ask as we have been delivering regeneration projects for twenty years, working right across the northern belt from Gateshead to Manchester. We are proud to be continuing our track record of delivering creative and bold regeneration solutions such Tower Works.”

The communal areas of the buildings have been slightly redesigned to provide as much open space as possible and Tower Works residents will also benefit from extensive areas of public realm and outdoor leisure space. The buildings will also have an element of ground floor commercial uses to provide amenities for occupiers and to the wider South Bank community.

The existing creative hub at Tower Works is already home to many media, tech and digital companies and Leeds City Council is also planning to redevelop the Grade II listed Engine House at Tower Works as a post-production facility following Channel 4’s move to the city.

Mark Gibson, managing director at Sir Robert McAlpine for UK North, said:

“It is great to see this superb historic site move forward to deliver much needed housing for the Leeds city centre. We are already involved in the regeneration of the South Bank area of the city centre so moving forward with Tower Works means we will be able to continue to provide jobs for the skilled local workforce.”

Commenting on the provision of additional new homes for Leeds Jon Irvine, Director of Development from Homes England said:

“The development of Homes England’s Tower Works site is an important step in realising Leeds City Council’s vision for the South Bank. We are working with the city council to try to unlock a number of sites in the city centre of Leeds, and we hope this is the first of many sites in the city centre that we can support to deliver new homes. Our work in Leeds is part of a broader effort working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to unlock a housing growth opportunities across the city region.”

The delivery team also includes: project managers and QS Faithful and Gould; Structural and civil engineer, Renaissance; landscape architect, Oobe and engineering firm WSP.


This post is based on a press release issued by Tower Works Leeds


One Reply to “Construction starts at Holbeck’s historic Tower Works”

  1. Very good news to know these iconic chimneys are to be incorporated in the new tower works.

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