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20th May 2005

City Centre Regeneration Takes Off

New figures show a massive rise in the number of new building projects in Leicester city centre since the advent of the Leicester Regeneration Company.

Statistics from Leicester City Council and LRC compare the number of major planning applications in the city centre over the four years 2001-05 with those in the previous four years.

Nationally, the increase over this period was just a quarter. For Leicester outside the LRC area, the increase was one third. But in Castle and Abbey wards, roughly the area covered by LRC’s work, applications have actually doubled.

John Nicholls, Chief Executive of Leicester Regeneration Company, said, “Leicester is really moving forward. These figures confirm the evidence of our own eyes: that there’s a big upswing in development confidence and activity. I’m certainly not claiming this is all down to LRC, but we and our partners have certainly contributed to it and are helping to keep it going. It is great to see so many projects on site and many others, including our own, about to start.

"Many organisations in the city are contributing to this, including the City Council, both universities, which are improving their campuses, and University Hospitals of Leicester, which has more than £700 million committed to redevelopment. We have a new cultural quarter in the city, with the new theatre planned, and The Shires is set to double in size by 2008."

Frazer Robson, Service Director, Environment at Leicester City Council said, “The level of regeneration activity in the city is very encouraging with the Leicester Regeneration Company playing a key role in helping to facilitate all of this. The City Council is committed to ensuring high quality development in the city centre with an emphasis on sustainability.”

The increases in applications have come in commercial and residential projects, as well as mixed use. While conversions and alterations have gone up by half, applications for new builds have almost trebled.

Major planning applications
All city wards (including Abbey and Castle)
1997 to 2001 141 applications
2001 to 2005 233 applications
Increase of 65 per cent

Abbey and Castle wards
1997 to 2001 70 applications
2001 to 2005 139 applications
Increase of 99 per cent

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