Bruntwood Works has launched its vision for a unique and wellbeing-focused destination, after planning permission for the aspirational development was secured in May 2022.
The approved plans will see the West One Estate in Leeds city centre transformed into a connected destination for business and the community, which will be renamed ‘West Village Leeds’.
Unlocking the potential of the 229,000 sq ft site, the inspirational plans are oriented around wellbeing and community. The focal point will be a stunning landscaped courtyard surrounded by contemporary workspaces, which will feature a flexible event and communal space. The courtyard will be an unprecedented urban oasis for the city centre, and feature local independent food and drink pop-ups. Wellness will be central to the courtyard area, with lush biophilia and cascading greenery cocooning the garden terraces. Both natural materials and light will bring the outside in, and create an environment where people want to spend time for respite and relaxation.
A brand new 4-storey extension wrapped in biophilia and wildflower planting will create two private terraces and roof gardens for customers overlooking the central courtyard, providing restorative green spaces designed to bring nature to the city centre. The site’s existing retail units along Wellington Street will also be enhanced.
The project will be the first Bruntwood Works’ Pioneer development in Yorkshire, as part of its £200m programme to create forward-thinking workspaces of the future centred on wellness, sustainability, biophilia, art, amenity and technology. The new investment reflects Bruntwood’s wider commitment to Leeds and ambitions to bring cutting-edge spaces that blend work and life to the wider Yorkshire region.
As one of the fastest growing digital cities in the UK, with a focus on innovation through collaboration and community, the project aims to provide Leeds’ growing ecosystem the space it needs to succeed. The Pioneer project will create a dedicated space to support diverse, cultural, innovative activity through programmes and events. Including partner activity from FinTech North, Leeds Legal Innovation Group, Women in Leeds Digital, Fund Her North, and many more.
With wellness at the core of the proposals, the plans will feature the very latest technology, innovative lighting concepts and carefully curated art installations designed to promote wellbeing throughout. West Village Leeds will also feature a state-of-the-art, inclusive fitness and wellbeing studio, and create the largest cycle storage facility in Leeds, with links to the city’s new cycle connect scheme on Wellington Street.
Once complete in 2023, the new site is expected to attract a wide range of businesses, from hot desking entrepreneurs to those wanting to establish a new HQ across an entire floor or more. West Village creates the ideal environment for high growth businesses, looking to connect and innovate and tap into the local business ecosystem.
Sustainability is central to the redesign, with plans to remove C02 through landscaping and enhance the biodiversity of the site by improving the habitat for local birds and wildlife. Large areas of soft landscaping and locally-sourced permeable materials will create a nature-driven environment to improve air quality, and blend the interior with the exterior. The proposals have been designed in consideration of the climate emergency declared by Leeds City Council and in line with Bruntwood’s Net Zero Carbon Strategy.
A focus on biophilia, which is known to help improve wellbeing and sustainability, has been included through the installation of innovative living walls that provide oxygen and help reduce noise levels, and a ‘smart’ blue/green roof terrace that reduces the discharge of rainwater. The blue/green roof will provide a space for relaxation and collaboration, and feature wildflowers to support biodiversity and provide an additional thermal barrier. Created in partnership with Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, it will be Bruntwood Works’ first wildflower roof in Leeds and also aims to attract a rare native blue butterfly. The breakthrough technology of the blue/green roof protects green areas through periods of drought, promotes flora and is designed to allow for data collection and analysis on the storing and reusing of rainwater, an important tool to help mitigate the impact of climate change.
Ciara Keeling, CEO of Bruntwood Works, said: “West Village Leeds will be a new destination for collaboration, community and creativity. Leeds has always been a meeting of minds, from the trading of ideas in the walls of the Corn Exchange, to the market where Marks met Spencer, it’s a place where commercial vitality and collaboration go hand in hand, and it’s this spirit of innovation and togetherness we want to harness.
“West Village Leeds marks the latest milestone in our longstanding commitment to investing in Yorkshire. As our first Pioneer development in the city, the project’s location within the innovation arc will provide customers with access to the University’s talented graduates, as well as a range of world class research and development facilities. Bruntwood Works’ workspaces are also home to various skills providers and funding bodies, including North Coders, Baltic Apprentices, Merica, North Invest, among others, giving customers direct access to the talent and resources they need to grow.”
Bruntwood, which has a long track record of transforming places and buildings across Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands.