The first phase of The Guinness Partnership’s Points Cross housing scheme which is now on site, will build over 300 new, sustainable homes in the Leeds South Bank area –100 per cent of which will be affordable, as well as supporting the generation of extra jobs, skills, and training opportunities for young people. The wider scheme will deliver 928 affordable and sustainable homes in total, in one of Leeds key regeneration areas.
The wider scheme will also deliver improvements to green spaces in the area and new public walking and cycle routes, as well as commercial space for uses such as cafés and gyms.
The Points Cross development will bring skills training and apprenticeships to young people across the city, with students at Leeds College of Building, Leeds City College, Ruth Gorse Academy, and the University Technical College all benefitting from being adjacent to the scheme, having access to a live building project, learning directly from industry professionals and being able to witness key construction stages.
Once completed, the scheme will also deliver a 22 per cent reduction in carbon against the requirements set out in the Building Regulation’s, which will contribute towards the Combined Authority’s target for West Yorkshire becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038.
On the 1st of December, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, joined The Guinness Partnership and other partners at the site in South Leeds to see the progress of building work. The Guinness Partnership is one of the largest providers of affordable housing in England. The mayor was also joined by Councillor Helen Hayden from Leeds City Council.
The Points Cross scheme – previously the site of the Arnold Clark car dealership – is the first of its kind in West Yorkshire funded by the government’s Brownfield Housing Fund — a programme designed to build more homes by unlocking and redeveloping brownfield land. In July 2020, as a result of the devolution deal, West Yorkshire Combined Authority was allocated up to £67 million funding from the programme. The fund will help to build between 4500 to 6000 new homes across West Yorkshire over the next four years, delivering much-needed housing and boosting the region’s economy.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:
“Schemes like this one are absolutely vital to address the housing shortage across West Yorkshire and deliver affordable, sustainable and well-connected housing options that meet the needs of all of our communities. Everyone deserves a good, secure home and we will continue to deliver on our pledge to develop brownfield land across the region, helping to regenerate areas like Holbeck and shaping an economy that works for all.
Not only will the Points Cross scheme provide high-quality homes, but the project also offers students across the region the opportunity to gain skilled apprenticeships and support their progress into good job opportunities in engineering and construction. The pandemic has hit our young people especially hard, so we are really proud to be funding this project in partnership with Homes England and creating vital opportunities for students.”
Neil Braithwaite, Chair of the Board of The Guinness Partnership, said:
“We are delighted to have welcomed Mayor Brabin to Points Cross today. The event marks an important milestone in the regeneration of the Leeds South Bank and Innovation District and provides more new affordable homes in Leeds.
We are working with our construction partners United Living and our wider project team, to create great homes where people are proud to live, in a vibrant new neighbourhood.”
Neil Armstrong, Chair and Chief Executive, United Living Group said:
“We are delighted to be working with The Guinness Partnership to create much needed affordable homes in this area of Leeds. Our goal is to create thriving communities where people feel safe and are proud to live.
Working closely with Leeds City College, The Leeds College of Building and The Ruth Gorse Academy, we have provided educational and careers workshops for a wide range of learners, ranging from construction to catering, and we are excited to see the growth and further benefits to these young people as the project develops.”
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:
“I am delighted to see the Points Cross scheme underway with a contribution of £2.76 million from our £66.8 million Brownfield fund. We are very pleased to be supporting Leeds and West Yorkshire to enable the delivery of homes which will also boost economic growth and job creation locally. This is part of our national strategy to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, making the best use of brownfield and urban centre land whilst continuing to protect the Green Belt.”