£3million refurbishment of the Electric Press offices approved

A stunning £3 million refurbishment of the iconic Grade 2-listed Electric Press building in Leeds has been approved by Leeds City Council.

The spectacular transformation of the building, located in the heart of the city’s Civic Quarter, will provide 17,200 sq ft of prime Grade A office space.

Work will start on site in the summer, after the present offices are stripped out, and will complete by June 2023.

Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at global property consultancy at Knight Frank in Leeds, who is marketing the offices on behalf of landlord DTZ Investors, commented: “The granting of planning permission is tremendous news. The new office space at the Electric Press, which has been named Switch, will now be worthy of the rest of this magnificent historic building.

“The offices were previously occupied by Leeds Metropolitan University. Time has inevitably taken its toll, while there was no external amenity space for staff who worked there. So the offices are absolutely ready for a grand makeover.

“The 17,200 sq ft Grade A office space will be spread over three floors, with floorplates starting at 4,600 sq ft. We expect serious interest from potential occupiers, once marketing begins.

“The magnificent new offices will respect the heritage of the Electric Press, whilst bringing this part of the building into the 21st century. There will be a statement front door, providing a distinctive arrival experience, and the spacious offices will be flooded with light. A brand-new terrace will provide the external space which is currently lacking and a new clubroom will provide internal leisure space.

“It also goes without saying, in a world transformed by Covid, that this will be an incredibly safe place to work. There will be a hot-desking area and social space for all tenants, while a glass lobby will provide a visual separation between the existing building and the clubroom,” said Mr Fox.

He added: “The new offices have been designed by the talented RKA Architectural Design Studio – and, quite frankly, I am blown away by what they are proposing. These are going to be some of the finest offices not just in Leeds, but in the whole of Yorkshire and the North East”.

Richard Keating, founder and director of RKA, explained: “Our three-part vision is, first, to transform the arrival experience and building presence within Millennium Square. A new artist’s mural that fronts the square is a major part of this.

“Secondly, we will work with and respect the Electric Press’s heritage by maximising the hidden assets to enable users to experience the building’s volume, space and light. Taking inspiration from its arched windows and brick façade, we have designed contemporary reception and lift lobbies that fit seamlessly into the language of the existing industrial building.

“Thirdly, we will create enhanced amenity spaces for all tenants. These will include new rooftop club room and terrace create spaces for Yoga, parties, hot desking and wellness classes, plus the basement facilities with showers and changing rooms. These are all designed in keeping with the transformation upstairs.”

Located in Great George Street, next to Millennium Square, in the heart of Leeds Civic Quarter, the three-storey Electric Press contains the 350-seat Carriageworks Theatre and conference facility. It also boasts bars and restaurants, including All Bar One and Casa Mia,

Built in 1840, the Electric Press is one of only a handful of buildings in Leeds city centre still fronted by Victorian arches. This stunning building with its trademark square chimney is Grade II listed, built for the firm of Printers Chorley and Pickersgill. It has incredible 4.3m high ceilings with exposed cast iron and timber structure, designed originally to support the heavy printing presses.

The Leeds office of Knight Frank is the sole marketing agent for this prestigious new office development.