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Carillion's £70m Leeds Tower Works hit by delay

Carillion’s £70m mixed-use redevelopment of Tower Works in Leeds has been pushed back after design changes.

The contractor was named as development partner on the Tower Works development, which includes more than 100,000 sq ft of commercial office space, 20,000 sq ft of retail space and 158 apartments and townhouses for private sale, in 2015.

The project was originally planned to be delivered in three phases, with plans for the development approved in February 2016.

Work on the site, which sits near Leeds railway station, was originally due to begin in June 2016, with completion pencilled in for 2020.

However, the Homes and Communities Agency, which is acting as client on the 1.2 ha scheme, has now said that developing homes at the site for private sale “now represents both unacceptably high-risk and questionable commercial viability”.

The client has now decided to modify the scheme, which has been designed by architects Jestico + Wiles, to include private rented homes instead of homes for sale, and will seek to obtain a new planning permission for the project.

The HCA also blamed Brexit for uncertainties in the market, which it said had significantly increased the risk of bringing the Tower Works scheme forward in its original form.

Despite the changes from homes for sale to PRS, the scope and nature of the development including Carillion’s £70m contract remained unchanged, according to the HCA.

Carillion Leeds Tower Works CGI 1

Carillion Leeds Tower Works CGI 1

Carillion also originally had an obligation to start on site within three months of the date of taking a lease on the project. However, this has been extended to six months, with the HCA saying the original timeline “is not longer practicable”.

The Tower Works project houses a former pin manufacturing factory, which was founded in the 1860s but closed in 1978. The site includes four listed buildings, including three Victorian-era towers, which will all be preserved as part of the project.

Carillion confirmed the changes when contacted by Construction News.

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