PLANS to spend more than £10m on three city centre green space schemes in Leeds – including a new bridge over the River Aire – are now one step closer following approval from senior Leeds City Council decision-makers.

Plans for Leeds’s “grey to green” scheme involve revamping roads and public spaces at Meadow Lane and Crown Point Road, as well as creating a new foot and cycle bridge over the river at Sovereign Street.

During a discussion of the scheme, senior councillors and officers reiterated that the scheme was done with the effects of Covid-19 in mind.

The council’s director of city development Martin Farrington said: “As the city has moved forward, in the south bank, it’s gone from having no educational institutions a few years ago to having the College of Building, the City Centre College, the Ruth Gorse Academy.

“We have seen the closure of the Carlsberg site and the ambitions for the city centre park to take place.

“Making it a walkable transition in a way one would expect, and promoting cycling and walking, in a Covid sense still stand true. I’m confident the principle is the right one.”

A report by Leeds City Council officers states the authority has been given £8.6m of government cash to fund the scheme overall which, when added to £3.6m of council funding, makes up £12.2m.

The council’s executive member for transport Coun Helen Hayden (Lab) added: “This is just the right timing for the expansion of green space to the south of the city centre. Everyone on this call has depended on their greenspace in the past year.

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“Should anything like this happen again in future, the people living around the south of the river will have a safe greenspace to enjoy.”

The report claimed the latest parts of the scheme would create an extra 6,700 square metres of new public spaces – the equivalent of 1.6 acres – adding: “When combined, these four interrelated investments shall make Leeds City Centre greener and more attractive; helping to unlock major commercial and residential development across South Bank and the centre of Leeds, as well as the delivery of private sector investment into the Aire Park; the largest new city centre green space in the region.”

The document added that work to create new green space in Meadow Lane would cost around £3.25m. Work on the site, which is adjacent to the northwest edge of the former Tetley’s Brewery site, and would “re-prioritise” Meadow Lane from a four-lane road to a two lane traffic route with cycleways and walking routes, with uninterrupted green space on the route.

Work to build the new Sovereign Street bridge will cost around £3.7m and would connect newly-redeveloped areas of the south bank to Sovereign Street.

The arched bridge would be 4.5 metres wide, with space for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as LED lighting which can create a “rainbow effect” at night.


The Crown Point Road scheme is expected to cost around £3.75m, and will reduce space for traffic to a single lane, with two new cycle lanes and extra green space.

The document was approved by members of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board. Detailed plans are expected in the coming months.