Developers of what is currently the most prominent new mixed use scheme in Leeds have released figures that demonstrate its commitment to local employment, confirming that 88% of its construction workers are employed from Yorkshire.

Joint venture partners, Scarborough Group International and Legal & General Capital are progressing apace to deliver phase two at Thorpe Park Leeds with construction underway to deliver 1.35 million sq ft of mixed accommodation. To date 270 people have been employed since construction began twelve months ago, a third of whom are from Leeds.

The first office building, providing 31,650 sq ft of prime, Grade A space is underway with completion due in November. 91% of the 88 workers currently on site are from Yorkshire.

Thorpe Park Developments Ltd, in collaboration with GMI Construction, has committed to a dedicated programme which seeks to support local employment and education. It is working closely with Employment Leeds and other partners to promote and support opportunities on site including apprenticeships.  Five Apprentices are currently employed on the site with an ambition to achieve 34 throughout the lifetime of the construction period.

A local schools’ engagement programme is also underway. Activities so far include managers from Scarborough Group International and GMI Construction presenting to students from local ward areas. A recent initiative with Ahead Partnership and Construction & Housing Yorkshire to broaden female student’s perceptions of the construction industry received 100% positive feedback.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Executive Member for Employment, Enterprise and Opportunity at Leeds City Council said, “Leeds City Council is working in close partnership with Scarborough Group International, GMI Construction and its sub-contractors to maximise employment and skills opportunities for local people.

“I am delighted to see that there are already five apprentices working on the site and we hope this number increases throughout the lifetime of the construction period.  We also look forward to many more job opportunities also becoming available with the tenants of Thorpe Park once the development is completed.”

Thorpe Park Leeds is a well-established 800,000 sq ft business park with over 60 occupiers including IBM, National Grid, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins, BAM and United Utilities.

Delivery of phase two follows last year’s announcement that Legal & General Capital were to invest £162 million as joint development partner with Scarborough Group International. Preparation work is already underway to deliver a new 300,000 sq ft shopping and leisure park and the first phase of 940,000 sq ft of offices. The development also includes 300 new homes by Redrow and a 113-acre public park with sports facilities.

Phase two also includes delivery of the first section of the ‘East Leeds Orbital Road’, a key piece of infrastructure connecting north and east Leeds to Junction 46 of the M1. This road will unlock land for the construction of up to 7,000 new homes in the East Leeds area, land that is either already allocated in the Local Plan or which is ‘brownfield’.

Thorpe Park Leeds recently won the coveted ‘Best Deal’ Award at the Yorkshire Property Awards for its groundbreaking funding arrangement with Legal & General Capital.