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28th September 2006
Council Approval for Redevelopment of Abbey Meadows in Leicester

Leicester City Council has given the go ahead for plans to redevelop 17 acres of land adjoining the National Space Science Centre to create a high quality environment for science-based and commercial businesses.

The development in the Abbey Park Road and Abbey Lane area of Leicester will comprise of a science park, offices, riverside housing, a state of the art car showroom and a new access road to serve the Science and Innovation Park and the National Space Centre.

The project is a public and private sector venture between East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and Ingleby, brokered by Leicester Regeneration Company (LRC).

Half of the redevelopment site at Abbey Meadows West, the former council depot on Abbey Lane, is owned by emda while the other half is owned by Ingleby, a joint venture between the Leicester based property developer Sowden Group Ltd and Loughborough builder and developer William Davis Limited. 

Ingleby began its land assembly in the area over six years ago, long before the opening of the National Space Centre, which will benefit from a brand new access road, direct from the A6.  A team of representatives from Ingleby, emda, Leicester City Council and LRC have invested a considerable amount of time and money over the last couple of years on the redevelopment plans for Abbey Meadows to bring the project to realisation.

Roy Coley, managing director, Sowden Group Ltd, said: “We have all worked hard to make these plans become a reality.  Securing planning permission is a milestone for us, now we will be able to press ahead with the development of the site to create a new and innovative area both for working and living in Leicester.”

Abbey Meadows West is part of Leicester Regeneration Company’s masterplan for the regeneration of the city, and adds another seven acres of science park plots alongside the Leicester Science Park project announced last month.

Neil Morris, chairman of Leicester Regeneration Company, comments: “This is a crucial project in the masterplan for the regeneration of central Leicester.  This decision will play an important part in economic regeneration in the city and improve the quality of life for people living and working in this area.  It means the whole science and innovation park can become reality, helping Leicester to keep hold of the graduates coming out of its world class universities.”

Diana Gilhespy, emda’s executive director of Regeneration, added: “The Abbey Meadows site lends itself to this exciting new re-development.  It will make a real difference to the surrounding area and is also a great example of key partners working together to contribute towards the sustainable growth of our economy – a key theme in the new Regional Economic Strategy, co-ordinated by emda and published in July 2006.”

Leicester City Council’s backing of the development will enable work to start later this year.

For further media information:
PR for William Davis Ltd:
Adrienne Vaughan & Associates: or email or

PR for Leicester Regeneration Company:
Holly-Marie Draper at Hopwood PR on or email

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