Caddick Developments, part of the Wetherby-based construction firm Caddick Group, said it plans to transform the six acre Quarry Hill area of Leeds into a £300 million cultural hub called SOYO (South of York Road).
“The aesthetic laid out by Caddick Developments, the company behind Trinity Leeds and Carnegie Stadium, is inspired by the world’s most desirable city living locations,” said Caddick.
“From the inexhaustible grid of New York’s East Village, to San Francisco’s multifaceted SoMa district, SOYO will be a place where everybody is accepted and laid-back attitudes are encouraged – a place where tech-savvy entrepreneurs rub elbows with well-read bohemian creatives.”
Caddick said two apartment blocks by Moda Living will be among the first buildings to break ground.
Major cultural institutions are also receiving a makeover as part of the redevelopment programme.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse will receive a £14 million facelift and work has already started on the new Leeds City College building, which sees a £57 million investment on a new college campus that is “set to revolutionise the city’s digital, creative arts and health sciences provisions.”
“In addition to this, there will be a high quality public space included in the venture sitting alongside the existing BBC building, Northern Ballet and Quarry House, Department of Health,” said Caddick.
“Caddick Developments has been engaging with neighbours across within the cultural quarter about collaborating more widely under the SOYO brand with a vision of pulling everyone together to help more powerfully define this area of the city centre.
“The company is also launching a website, newspaper and social channels promoting activities and events.”
Myles Hartley, managing director at Caddick Developments, said: “There is a huge amount happening in this area of the city.
“As well as delivering our own scheme under the SOYO name we are working alongside our neighbours, from the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Leeds City College to Yorkshire Dance and Northern Ballet, with the idea of using this opportunity to create a wider place identity.
“Building on the vast cultural heritage of this area is something that has been central to the SOYO plan from day one.
“Our high quality public realm will provide a much-needed pedestrianised area in the city centre for the city’s residents to enjoy all year round, which is key in developing a strong community feel.”
Tony Brooks, managing director at Moda Living, said: “Being part of the Quarry Hill masterplan presents a unique opportunity to deliver a Moda development in the cultural heart of Leeds that benefits from existing high-quality occupiers and neighbours.
“With over 500 professionally managed apartments, our Quarry Hill development will go some way in providing much needed new homes in the city centre that will be crucial to attracting and retaining talent – a key task for England’s regional cities.”
Robin Hawkes, West Yorkshire Playhouse’s executive director, said: “With the launch of SOYO, Caddick is helping strengthen the identity of the city’s cultural heart as an exciting and diverse place to be – at a time when the area is set for so many new developments, including the Playhouse’s own redevelopment.”
Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director and CEO of Yorkshire Dance, said: “Yorkshire Dance is delighted to be playing its part in SOYO.
“This is a tremendously exciting consolidation of the work done by the arts organisations on Quarry Hill to make this a thriving cultural quarter.
“We’re looking forward to ever-closer relationships with our neighbours, old and new.”
Gerry Godley, principal and managing director at Leeds College of Music, said: “It’s fantastic to see this exciting next chapter for Leeds’ cultural quarter – and we’re delighted to be a part of it.
“It can only strengthen the cultural fabric of the city and we’re looking forward to working alongside our neighbouring organisations to cement Quarry Hill as THE destination for culture in Leeds.”
Suzanne Gallagher, director of curriculum at Leeds City College, said: “We’re delighted that Caddick’s £300 million SOYO development will shine a spotlight on this area and help us shout about the amazing current of culture we have and the quality of life offered for young people studying here, whatever their background and wherever they are from.”