Downing starts £80m Leeds arts building
January 26, 2018 – George Downing Construction (GDC) has broken ground on an £80m project to construct Leeds Beckett University’s Creative Arts Building.
The building is being delivered by developer Downing and has been designed by architect Hawkins/Brown.
The Creative Arts Building is being built on Portland Way, opposite the Rose Bowl, the university’s business school.
It will be home to the university’s School of Film, Music & Performing Arts, and its fashion department. Specialist facilities will include a performance theatre and 220-seat Dolby Atmos movie cinema, as well as studios for fashion, music, film and television.
GDC director Ian Orton said: “This is an exciting scheme, which will form a new home for creative education at Leeds Beckett and we’re delighted to be starting on site. This landmark building will include a number of outstanding technical features and facilities, creating a world-class learning environment at the heart of the campus.”
The new building is the flagship development in Leeds’ new Innovation District, which is a partnership between Leeds Beckett University, the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds City Council. The partnership aims to attract new research facilities and drive economic development and regeneration.
The Creative Arts building is due for completion in September 2020. It is the first new development in a £200m programme of investment at Leeds Beckett over the next five years. It is also the final phase of Downing’s £100m transformation of the once vacant wider site into the City Village campus living environment.
Downing and Leeds Beckett have worked together for more than a decade. Downing was responsible for its Broadcasting Place development in 2009, with student accommodation and teaching space.