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New Business Quarter

Located in a quarter which is already undergoing much change, including the new performing arts centre, this project is vital to the city’s future growth and prosperity. The total development will provide 50,000 sq metres of high-quality office space, with room for 4,000 new jobs focused around new, attractive public areas.

Our master plan is driven by the need to diversify the Leicester economy and to grow the service sector, particularly offices. Given its location, Leicester should already have a strong office sector, but it has many out-dated office blocks, which will not attract new businesses but which keep rents too low to attract new office developments. The New Business Quarter aims to overcome this problem by creating a high-quality, concentrated area of office-led mixed uses, providing 50,000 sq m of new floor space, capable of accommodating 4,000 new jobs.

Plan of new business quarter

The project (2002 masterplan)
The masterplan (diagram, above) proposed the area around the station for the New Business Quarter. The inner ring road would be modified to become less of a physical barrier to pedestrians in order to reunite this area with the city centre. A high-quality new quarter should be developed, focused on attractive public spaces and incorporating a multi-storey station car park and bus interchange facilities.

Development Framework (2004-see above)
Prepared by Benoy Architects, the Framework, interprets the target of 50,000 sq m of offices, plus apartments and leisure uses are provided in a series of freestanding buildings, focused around very high quality public spaces and a new station access. The Framework has been adopted by LRC, after public consultation, and has been incorporated into LCC’s Supplementary Planning Guidance.

However, the owners of a key building, St George's Tower, are now well-advanced with its refurbishment, which would make it unavailable for redevelopment as part of this project. LRC is currently considering how the NBQ project should be reconfigured in the light of these new circumstances

Progress and Programme

Phase One: Charles Street - Colton Square

Charles Street - Colton Square

10,000 sq m under construction.

The first phase - the redevelopment of the Charles Street Police Station - has reached a very exciting stage. emda bought the site on our behalf, and, working with them, we competitively selected Akeler as the development partner. An excellent developer with a national reputation, Akeler is well advanced in creating 10,000 sq metres of office space (enough for 600 jobs), plus 40 apartments by City and Thames. Not only will this be a development of the highest quality, but the initial 5,000 sq metres will be built speculatively. This is the first speculative development in the city centre for a very long time, and shows a high degree of confidence in Leicester’s prospects as a major office centre.

Phase Two: the rest of the site

Artist's impression of new business quarter

  • Negotiations continue with all landowners, including Network Rail
  • Plans include remodelling the railway station, multi storey car parking, reducing the impact of the inner ring road on pedestrians, and a phased development of 30,000 sq metres of offices, all focused around high-quality public spaces
  • The project is being promoted as a prime candidate for government department relocations
  • A site start is anticipated around 2008



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Creating a new business quarter Creating a science and technology park Widening the city's retail core A new residential community

Developing the waterfront


6 Relocations