Developer and asset manager MEPC is celebrating its first major milestone in welcoming the Government’s new regional Yorkshire hub to Wellington Place, with an official ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the build. Key attendees at the event included James Dipple, Chief Executive of MEPC, Ann Carter-Gray, Government Property Unit Programme Director and other key business representatives from across the region who will help facilitate the delivery of this project.
The ceremony marks the beginning of the construction phase following two months of site preparation, with the new 378,000 sq. ft. building scheduled for completion at the end of 2019. Housed within MEPC’s masterplan, the combined Buildings 7 and 8 form the new hub which will be a BREAAM excellent state-of-the-art working environment for over 6,000 civil servants, let on a 25 year lease.
This project is part of the Government’s wider plans for building a strong Civil Service base across the UK. The Leeds hub will transform central Government’s estate by accommodating multi-departmental workforces in shared buildings including HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Digital. This will deliver taxpayer savings, build Leeds’ strength as a front runner in digital skills, act as a catalyst for regional growth in Yorkshire and ensure the delivery of the best quality service to the public.
James Dipple, Chief Executive of MEPC, said: “This is an exciting time for Wellington Place and we are thrilled to see work starting on the new government hub. Today marks an important day for both Wellington Place and the city as a whole, as it prepares to welcome thousands more people into the city centre, each day. Our investors are proud to play a major part in this important revitalisation of the West End and we look forward to welcoming the government to its new Leeds home in the near future.”
Ann Carter-Gray, Government Property Agency Programme Director, said: “Wellington Place will be part of a network of government hubs, transforming central government’s offices by accommodating many different departments in shared buildings in London and in the regions. The hubs will be a catalyst for growth in city centres and surrounding areas, helping to boost jobs and economic growth and ensure the delivery of the best quality services to the public.”
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction North East & Yorkshire added: “MEPC’s Wellington Place is a transformational project for Leeds, and is set to provide Yorkshire with the premier business quarter the region deserves. It has been an honour to be involved in the construction of 3, 5, 6 and 10 Wellington Place, and it is very rewarding to see the latest stage of our collaboration with MEPC start on site. 7 and 8 Wellington Place will benefit from our team’s proven ability to turn MEPC’s vision of modern premium office buildings into reality, and will be a suitable home for the Government’s new regional hub.”
Steven Boyd, HMRC’s Estates Director added: “This important milestone in the Wellington Place development is the result of months of planning and preparation. When it is built, the new building will mean our staff can work in a modern and bright environment and work collaboratively with other teams, to increase our effectiveness in collecting taxes. The building work is just the beginning of cementing HMRC’s presence in Yorkshire to create a tax authority fit for the future.”
Meanwhile, work continues across the site with Number 3 Wellington Place due to complete in December this year. Situated on the junction of Wellington Street and Northern Street, the building will create the principal north-east gateway into Wellington Place and form part of the 290,000 sq. ft. of recently constructed existing office and retail space at Wellington Place.