Leicester Regeneration Logo Image of yellow scaffolding Image of a grass lawn Image of house being made
Back to the homepage About the Leicester Regeneration Company About the Masterplan Key Projects The Leicester Regeneration Company board News Useful links Contact the Leicester Regeneration Company Freedom of Information

13th January 2006


The face of Leicester is changing. After three years of planning for regeneration, work is now under way on major projects across the city under Leicester Regeneration Company’s Masterplan.

In the first two months of 2006, construction work will start on:

  • Leicester City Council’s £19 million project to improve the city centre’s streets and spaces, starting in Gallowtree Gate and Halford Street.
  • A 100,000-square-foot office project by developers Akeler at Charles Street Police Station, the first phase of Leicester’s  new business quarter.
  • Demolition will begin on the John Ellis School to make way for phase one of the science and technology park.
  • 727 low energy homes at the Abbey Park bus depot, and a site start is imminent on a new bus depot to make way for the development.
  • Hammerson’s doubling the size of The Shires shopping centre, including a new John Lewis store and a multi-screen cinema.
  • A seven-acre site at Bursom Industrial Estate, Beaumont Leys, is being prepared as the home for businesses relocating from the regeneration area.

Elsewhere across the city, work is already well under way:

  • Two sites next to the National Space Centre have been cleared to make room for a science and technology park.
  • Phase one of Barratt’s  1,000-home development at Freemen’s Meadow is already complete.
  • The first of two housing developments by Metropolitan Housing Trust – part of the Metropolitan Housing Partnership - around Sanvey Gate is finished, the second will be completed at the end of 2006, and a third site is cleared ready for development. The  Together with a project by Westbridge Living at Westbridge Wharf will provide more than 400 homes in Leicester’s waterside.

John Nicholls, chief executive of Leicester Regeneration Company, said: “It is simply marvellous to see big things really happening. This work is going to generate thousands of jobs, create outstanding new homes and offices and improve the quality of life in the city. Several of these projects have been led by LRC, and we have been involved in all of them. It all adds up to a lot of activity and a huge improvement in how the development world sees this city.”

Leicester Regeneration Company and its partners - Leicester City Council, emda, Leicester Shire Economic Partnership and English Partnerships – created the Masterplan to stimulate the local economy and improve the city’s image.

New offices are designed to attract new employers, such as Government departments, to Leicester and the science park will keep high tech graduates in the city.

The plan covers five key sectors – a new business quarter to create 4,000 jobs, Abbey Meadows - which includes a science park and housing - a waterside quarter, a new community of 1,700 homes at Lee Circle and the retail circuit at the city centre.

Development frameworks have been created for each area and public consultation exercises have been carried out.

These projects are - as anyone visiting the city will have noticed - only part of a major upsurge in development. New builds are under way at both hospitals, both universities and in the private sector. Landmark buildings such as the unique Peepul Centre, the Dawn Centre in Conduit Street and the spectacular Performing Arts Centre are, like the existing National Space Centre, destined to put Leicester on the map.

For further media information contact hopwood pr on


Notes to Editors

Science and Technology Park
The emda-owned former Council depot and the adjacent private site, totalling 17 acres, have now been cleared and negotiations continue on delivery.

New Community
Interest is mounting in The New Community, which will bring a new lease of life to the Lee Circle area with around 1,700 new homes and local facilities, and a strong family housing element. Developers H Group are about to submit an outline planning application for a pilot site, which, if approved, will give the green light to the design principles in Leicester Regeneration Company’s plan for the area.

Wolsey Island and Abbey Park Bus Depot
Metropolitan Housing Trust purchased the Abbey Park bus depot land in September and now has vacant possession on part of the site with First Bus remaining in occupation on the other part of the site, pending a move to a new bus depot nearby. First Bus has agreed terms with site owners English Partnerships on a new site at Abbey Park Road and a site start is imminent on a new bus depot. MHT also aims to start on-site in the New Year. 

Meanwhile, developers are bringing forward other sites on Wolsey Island, with a joint plan brokered by LRC

The Shires
The £350 million new Shires development is set to change the face of Leicester, positioning the city as one of the hottest leisure and retail destinations in the UK. The mixed-use scheme will add to the existing retail core, with developers Hammerson and Hermes working in partnership with Leicester businesses to improve the city throughout.

Demolition work and clearance have already begun, with archaeological digs paving the way for construction to begin. Highways work – a crucial element in the ongoing development of The Shires – is also well underway, with the aim of bringing improved road and pedestrian routes to the city.

The Shires management team are soon to occupy a marketing suite at the old grammar school on Freeschool Lane. This will welcome business visitors and potential stakeholders who are keen to learn more about the development.

Streets and Spaces
A major opportunity for the city of Leicester to redefine its public realm - its Streets + Spaces - has been presented as part of the work currently under way to expand and improve the shopping and retail opportunities in the city centre, including the development of The Shires set to open in autumn 2008.

As part of this work in the city centre, Leicester City Council has undertaken to embark on a three-year programme to improve the Streets + Spaces in the city centre.

Combined with major retail and commercial investment, this work will regenerate and transform the appearance of the city centre over the next three years. Work to transform the city centre starts in January 2006 on Gallowtree Gate. The work will include the introduction of high quality granite paving, and new street furniture and street lighting.

Work will also commence in January on Halford Street to transform the Streets + Spaces in the new Cultural Quarter, where work to build Leicester’s new Performing Arts Centre is now well underway.

The city council’s public realm strategy for the city centre describes much of the activity that will be taking place across the city over the next three years. A copy ids available on the council’s website at www.leicester.gov.uk/streetsandspaces.

John Ellis site update
Leicester City Council’s Cabinet approved the planned delivery route for the first phase of the development of a Science Park in Abbey Meadows in December 2005. The planned approach will involve clearance of the former John Ellis School site by Leicester City Council, in order for the site to be competitively marketed to developers in the first quarter of 2006, with a view to works starting on site before the end of 2006.

1,000 new homes on site at Freemen’s Meadow
Barratt are developing around 1,000 new homes to a superb design. The first phase is complete. LRC helped by brokering a land deal to enable access via a new river bridge.

Performing Arts Centre
Work is well advanced on the stunning Performing Arts Centre, a Leicester City Council project at the heart of the Cultural Quarter.

Construction of the new Performing Arts Centre commenced in June 2005, an innovative flagship building that will not only provide a new home for theatre and performing arts in the city but also will become one of the most exciting and prestigious venues in the UK when it opens its doors in 2008. 

On site construction activity is progressing in accord with the timetable established for the project and if you walk along Halford / Rutland Street you will see some of the very evident signs of construction; a large structural steel frame spanning the length of the north and west facing areas of the site, 'in-situ' poured concrete forming the cores and auditoria walls, along with excavation and foundation works to build the orchestra pit and basement areas.

At the heart of the emerging cultural quarter the Performing Arts Centre is a bold and imaginative statement of the city's determination to both regenerate the city and raise its profile to become a major player in the East Midlands region.  

Metropolitan Housing Partnership
The Metropolitan Housing Partnership is a family of successful businesses providing housing, regeneration, and community and support services.

Businesses in the Partnership are; Metropolitan Housing Trust, Metropolitan Home Ownership, Rushcliffe Homes, Granta Housing Society, Refugee Housing Association, StepForward, Metropolitan Living Limited.

<< Back to Press Releases