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Plans submitted to turn old Leicester factory into £11.5m business hub

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Plans submitted to turn old Leicester factory into £11.5m business hub

Formal plans have been submitted to create an £11.5 million business hub in the heart of Leicester.

Leicester City Council wants to build the new units in a former factory that it owns in King Street, which could eventually have space for up to 250 jobs.

The Pilot House site is made up of five linked buildings and would be aimed at start-ups and growing businesses.

The council announced the plans back in 2020 to complement its other business units including the two Dock sites close to the National Space Centre and the LCB Depot.

It is hoped Pilot House will meet what the council has described as a demand for creative workspaces in Leicester.

The former factory, which sits off New Walk, was built around 1900 and is one of many industrial heritage buildings in the city.

The council said Pilot House is currently a loss-making asset, and the authority hopes to generate revenue through the project which also aims to support the regeneration of areas such as Belvoir Street and Market Street.

Some demolition work on the site will take place, if approved, to make way for the renovation but many of the old features of the buildings still existing, such as old signage, beams and parquet flooring will remain, according to the plans, paying homage to the city's industrial heritage.

The design aspects of the project will also draw from renovated LCB Depot, a former bus depot.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby has previously said: “This project will transform a group of architecturally significant heritage buildings into a landmark destination that will become a source of pride for Leicester.

"Not only will it contribute to the wider regeneration of the Belvoir Street, Market Street and New Walk areas, and complement exciting new developments like the Gresham Building, but it will also create and support hundreds of high-quality new jobs.

"I want to congratulate council officers, whose hard work and successful bids have helped attract millions of pounds for Leicester from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

"This new investment will give a huge boost to the city’s growth and economic recovery."

If planning permission in granted, the renovation will begin in 2023 with a view to be completed by the following year.

Written by Tom Pegden - Business Live.