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Leeds Innovation District builds on bold ambition to create a world-class Research and Innovation Hub in the heart of the city

Leeds Innovation District has taken another step forward with outline planning sought for the latest proposed development in this central part of the city of Leeds.
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Leeds Innovation District has taken another step forward with outline planning sought for the latest proposed development in this central part of the city of Leeds.

An outline planning application, submitted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, forms part of an estimated £450m investment in redeveloping the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) site to provide a new adults’ hospital – with added theatres and critical care – and a brand-new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital. The development will enable the Trust to expand its world-class services, providing patients with care based on the latest technologies, treatments and research.

The latest news builds on the momentum for Leeds’ vision to create a world-class hub for research, innovation and entrepreneurialism in sectors such as health and life sciences, creative and digital, data, engineering, advanced infrastructure and urban services, unlocking significant development opportunities and promoting transformational growth. It is part of the vision to accelerate economic growth across this part of Leeds, which has already seen the Bragg Centre for Physical Sciences and Engineering start on site.

It will release in the region of 5 hectares of land for development and will be one of the cornerstones of the Innovation District for commercial investment, which will bring together some of the city’s most creative and innovative anchor institutions and businesses.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Together with our universities and the teaching hospitals NHS Trust, we are creating a focal point for innovation in the city. Alongside development opportunities, we are encouraging collaboration between businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, health professionals and civic leaders, to enable business and job creation and growth, and promote inward investment.

“This latest potential development for the Leeds General Infirmary site is a perfect example of how we are looking for opportunities to further enhance the city’s reputation at the forefront of health innovation and research.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chair Linda Pollard added:

“The potential of this development is enormous, not only for the future of health services for patients in Leeds and beyond, but also for skills and investment it will bring to the city and the vital role it will play in establishing the Innovation District.”

The Innovation District, where science meets creative arts and healthcare, has already benefitted from a series of significant developments, primarily within Healthcare and Academia, adding momentum to plans which will see regeneration and inward investment opportunities developed in the area. Recently delivered or on-site investment includes Leeds Beckett University’s £80m creative arts building, an expansion of Leeds Arts University, and the University of Leeds has invested £40m in the new Nexus innovation hub, providing seamless access to its research and innovation expertise.

Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Innovation District board member said:

“Supporting innovation is vital to the future success of the Leeds region. Our £80 million investment in a new creative arts building brings world-leading, industry-quality teaching and learning facilities in film, television, music, fashion, dance, drama and performance to the heart of the city’s Innovation District.”

“Each year, we educate and train 1,800 students in the creative arts. They graduate to provide a pipeline of diverse and multi-skilled talent for a sector worth more than £100 billion to the UK economy.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds and Leeds Innovation District board member said:

“Such ambitious plans for developing the LGI site is testament to our determination for Leeds to remain at the forefront of healthcare innovation. The University’s recent investment in our Nexus innovation hub has a big role to play in this, providing a home to new and exciting companies, and enabling businesses from all sectors to connect with the University’s impressive research expertise and facilities.”

The Leeds City Region has particularly well-evidenced strengths in health technology, which were referenced by the government as part of the Life Sciences Sector Deal, and which are supported by an ambitious £250 million investment plan. Leeds is home to NHS Digital and leading technology companies including TPP, Sky and EMIS, to name just a few.

There will also be further infrastructure delivered within the Innovation District, including ambitious investments in place and enhanced links to the wider city centre. With up to 6ha available for development across the new Innovation District, large scale projects will play a major role in the creation of anchor businesses and institutions alongside small to medium sized developments and adaptive re-use projects which have the ability to respond at speed, and provide diversity, innovation and excitement. There are also opportunities for investments in purpose-built student accommodation to serve the 60,000 plus students in Leeds, the vast majority of which are based within the Innovation District.

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