The long-awaited redevelopment of the former hosiery factory on Leicester’s Wolsey Island is formally underway, after City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby broke ground on the site at a ceremony last Thursday.
A Joint Venture partnership between leading developers Westleigh and Birmingham-based housing provider; Midland Heart is behind a scheme to bring 188 new homes to the site, which has fallen into disrepair since hosiery firm Wolsey vacated the factory in 2004.
Of the 188 homes, 67 two, three and four bedroom houses will be available for private sale with another seven being allocated for shared ownership, for those who cannot afford to buy outright or first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.
A further 114 homes, including 95 one and two bedroom apartments will be made available for market rent through Cygnet Property Management, a subsidiary of Midland Heart, and 19 two and three bedroom homes will be available for affordable rent.
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “This is a very welcome development for this part of the city. Leicester boasts some beautiful riverside settings but, until fairly recently, development in these areas has been slow to come forward.
“Retaining and restoring the former Wolsey chimney and distinctive water tower will also help ensure that this development marks and preserves Sock Island’s important industrial heritage for future generations.”
The Wolsey Island development forms part of an ambitious plan by Westleigh in partnership with Midland Heart, which aims to provide over 400 new homes on a number of key disused sites across Leicester city.
Work has already started on the former St Mary’s Allotments on Aylestone Road, where 125 homes will be built, and a further redevelopment will also take place on abandoned industrial land off Green Lane Road, which will make way for another 82 new properties.
Westleigh already has a scheme of 1,200 new homes close to Wolsey Island, on the former British United Shoe Machinery site on Ross Walk.
Matthew Moore, Property Director at Westleigh, said: “This is an exciting time for Leicester and we are looking forward to breathing new life into an area of the city which has been left behind by the regeneration that has happened all around it.
“We are proud to be working with the city council and our partners at Midland Heart to turn these plans into a reality.”
Ruth Cooke, CEO at Midland Heart said: “This is a hugely exciting project for Midland Heart demonstrating both our commitment to bring genuinely affordable and high quality housing to Leicester while also retaining the areas rich heritage.
“This development will bring new homes across a wide range of tenures to a brilliant city centre location and is a great example of all that working in partnership can achieve.”
All press and/or public relation enquiries should be made to our agents :
Unsworth Sugden Advertising Ltd
86-92 Regent Road
t : 0116 247 1777