Holbeck Conservation Area

Holbeck Conservation Area - a sustainable mix of offices, homes and leisure amenities in a sensitive historic industrial landscape.
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Region: Yorkshire and the Humber

Local Authority: Leeds

Owner Type: Many

Funding Body: English Heritage; Leeds City Council; Yorkshire Forward (RDA)

Year of Intervention: 2000 - 2003

Summary: Holbeck- championing a sustainable mix of offices, homes and leisure amenities in a sensitive historic industrial landscape through the Leeds City Council Urban Village Company (UVC) and HERS scheme (2000 2003).

Description: Holbeck dates back over two hundred years. It is a largely industrial area that developed in what was previously the village of Holbeck. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal was created to the north of the area in 1770-1816, with the terminal basin being created in 1827. The area was the cradle of the industrial revolution in Leeds. Part of the area is of international importance historically. Key centres are the Round Foundry (a series of engineering workshops from the early 1800s); a complex of flax-spinning mills dating from the 1840s; and the Tower Works (1860s), which produced pins for textile machinery, with landmark Italianate towers (for dust extraction). Housing for these industrial complexes has long since been cleared.
Issue: Regeneration of the Leeds canal basin began in the early 1990s, with new build and refurbishment to provide office space. Leeds City Council sought to promote development in Holbeck by forming an Urban Village Company (UVC), in tandem with a HERS scheme (2000 2003). The UVC formed to champion a sustainable mix of offices, homes and leisure amenities to appeal to incoming Hi Tech businesses. Yorkshire Forward (RDA) and the city council are currently creating a distinct e commerce area in Holbeck. Holbeck serves as a good example of a common pattern of urban regeneration, where early recognition of heritage merit, underpinned by relatively modest EH grants to support key assets (in this case II* listed Granary Warehouse) is being followed up by major private and public investment. However there is currently a danger that Holbeck may be seen as a series of disconnected sites and not as a single entity.
Strategy: English Heritage is strongly recommending the extension of the Conservation Area boundary, and working to include several important historic sites, such as the Tower Works, which are currently excluded. It is also recognised that developers need to be given a clear framework, which is an issue currently being addressed by the preparation of Supplementary Planning Guidance.
Outcome: Holbeck Conservation Area is a successful mixed use development in a very sensitive historic industrial landscape, which has been used to underpin regeneration in central Leeds.

Keywords: Grants, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration

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