People in Leeds are being encouraged to help shape ambitious plans for the regeneration of the George Street side of the city centre’s historic Kirkgate Market.

Leeds City Council is hoping to replace a row of vacant low-rise buildings on George Street with a stylish six-storey development that would include a 143-room hotel as well as a state-of-the-art gym and new commercial units.

Initial proposals for the scheme were considered by the council’s city plans panel at a meeting on June 22.

And now a community consultation has been launched so that residents, businesses and other stakeholders get the best possible opportunity to have their say on the project.

The proposals can be viewed and comments submitted at the scheme’s website,

The results of the consultation – which runs until July 7 – will be used to help fine-tune a full planning application that is due for submission in the coming weeks.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“Leeds Kirkgate Market is a much-loved landmark for the people of our city, and we’re determined to give it a future that is every bit as bright as its past.

“This exciting project would help us do exactly that, not only by creating a new gateway to the market from George Street but also by improving the attractiveness and vibrancy of the area as a whole.

“We would encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the consultation and play their part in making the scheme a success.”

The new development would complement the ongoing transformation of the area around the market, which is home to the Victoria Gate retail destination and other key sites such as the refurbished Leeds Playhouse and Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus.

The project is also seen as a way of driving further footfall into the market, which is already attracting more than 400,000 visitors a month after benefiting from a multi-million pound investment programme.

The scheme would be developed by the council, with the hotel element being run by a nationally-recognised operator.

Its gym, meanwhile, would be run by the council, improving the local ‘fitness offer’ for people living in both the city centre and nearby communities.

The development would create approximately 50 new full and part-time jobs locally once operational, with around 80 jobs being supported during construction.