The first residents of homes built as part of a multi-million regeneration of Leicester’s waterside area have moved in. Work began in 2015 to bring the waterside’s extensive former industrial areas back into use by creating new housing, office space, hotels and public open space.
As part of that, Leicester City Council is working with national housebuilder Keepmoat Homes on a 17.2- acre development, located in Frog Island. Overlooking the Grand Union Canal, the Waterside development includes a mix of more than 350 one and two-bedroom flats, and two, three and four-bedroom homes, including at least 55 “affordable units”, said a spokesman for the authority
In addition to the new homes, there are public green spaces and a new canalside path opening up the waterfront, along with 60,000sqft of office space. City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby visited the site to see Keepmoat’s new showhome, and meet some of the new residents.
He said: “Leicester’s waterside has, for a long time, had immense potential for regeneration, and bringing that redevelopment forward for the benefit of the city has been a long-held ambition of mine. These new homes are a key part of that, and the catalyst for the surrounding waterside developments.
“The city council’s regeneration strategy for the city has included assembling this brownfield site using £25m of grants and council funds to compulsorily purchase run down and disused areas along the River Soar, as well as securing outline planning consent for these new homes. We’ve worked closely with Keepmoat Homes as our development partners to reach this important stage in making Leicester’s waterside a vibrant, attractive area in which to live and work.”
The properties are advertised by Keepmoat as being part of a “new way of living” in the city on the “forgotten waterside”.
Shaun Fielding, Keepmoat’s regional managing director, said the company had “worked collaboratively with the city council and the city’s design team to create a development of bespoke houses and apartments, formed within an incredible urban layout which has already attracted potential new homeowners to the area, who will further enhance the city’s economy”.
Since 2015, around 1,000 new houses and apartments have been delivered in the wider waterside area, along with around 1,000 “student spaces”, the Novotel and Adagio hotel complex, a bowling alley and more than 75,000sqft of new office space built, said the council spokesman. It is expected that the work at the Waterside will take five more years to complete, he added.