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More than a billion pounds worth of construction work in Leeds is either on site or due to start this year.

Residential work is driving this boom according to Glenigan’s construction industry analysis.

HG Construction started in February on the £60 million Merrion Project to redevelop a former Santander office into 660 student accommodation units (Project ID: 20166413).

Caddick started at the end of last year on the £18.4 million Stonebridge Mills scheme (Project ID: 00304911), which will feature 126 houses.

The client on this scheme, developer Rushbond, also recently won planning permission for a high-rise scheme set to provide 1,000 homes on the site of a former Goods’ Yard (Project ID: 19033857). Rushbond Group is working with residential developer Gold & Amber on the Leeds City Village. With work expected set to start this summer, a contractor will need to be appointed soon.

Other projects coming up include developer Downing’s £100 million proposals for 1,200 student rooms in a 38-storey tower near Leeds Arena (Project ID: 21396637). A planning application has been lodged and work is due to start later this year.

Leeds pipeline

Deloitte’s latest Crane Survey for Leeds city centre found the highest level of residential building since its records began in 2007 with 2,267 new homes under construction.

Build-to-rent (BTR) is having an impact. Legal & General (L&G) is investing in the £57 million Tower Works development being developed by ASK and Richardson (Project ID: 14145578).

Dan Batterton, senior fund manager for BTR at LG investment management, said: “As Covid-19 drives secular changes and a fundamental rethink of many areas of the real estate sector, BTR has remained largely unaffected. It has delivered stable income returns throughout the crisis, with occupancy, rent collection and demand remaining high.”

Up for grabs in Leeds

Outside of the residential sector, contracts are due to be awarded on other schemes according to Glenigan’s construction market research.

Tenders have been returned for a £16 million revamp of Queen’s Hotel on the City Square (Project ID: 20513263) and a £58.1 million industrial scheme at Sherburn in Elmet for Firethorn Trust (Project ID: 21382416).

Procurement should start soon on Vastint’s £51 million Aire Park office scheme as Glenigan anticipates construction will begin this summer (Project ID: 19414629)

Leeds boost for Yorkshire

Work coming out of Leeds is boosting the wider Yorkshire region and order books at the county’s top contractors.

In the 12 months to Q1 2022, VolkerWessels has been Yorkshire’s most successful contractor according to Glenigan’s data. The group’s order book includes a £10.6 million rail signalling scheme east of Leeds (Project ID: 21243488).

GMI is second with a £134 million order book, including the £29 million Alumno Student Accommodation scheme comprising 411 bedrooms and a hub at Whitelock Street (Project ID: 20236822).

Tilbury Douglas is also building a £96 million helium recovery suite at the University of Leeds (Project ID: 21045224).

Yorkshire - Top 10 contractors April 2021 to March 2022

Contractor Number of Projects Civil (£m) Building (£m) Total (£m)
VolkerWessels 6 13.2 133.4 146.6
GMI 6 0.0 134.1 134.1
Tilbury Douglas 8 8.0 119.0 127.0
Royal BAM 8 109.6 0.0 109.6
Morgan Sindall 17 30.3 66.9 97.2
Caddick 4 0.0 85.0 85.0
Henry Boot 6 0.0 79.6 79.6
ENGIE 11 0.0 69.5 69.5
Mott Macdonald 4 66.0 0.0 66.0
Kier 20 17.9 41.5 59.3

Source: Glenigan

Elsewhere, a joint venture between Royal BAM and Mott MacDonald is building a £112 million flood alleviation scheme on the River Aire in Leeds (Project ID: 21479359). Ranked sixth, Caddick’s £85 million order book includes a £29 million development of six warehouses at the Leeds Valley Park (Project ID: 20454698).

With hundreds of millions of pounds-worth of work also in the pipeline in Leeds, the city should continue to provide rich pickings for the industry.

Glenigan customers can see details of all construction work in Leeds if part of your subscription.

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