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NEWS ROUNDUP: St Johns sale and mental health help


11/05/21 | Leeds local news | An enormous city centre complex boasting office space, a car park and a shopping centre has been put up for sale for £33million.

The St Johns Centre in Leeds, West Yorks., which was built in the mid 1980s and last year saw major works to the lifts completed, has gone on the market.

The 2.42 acre, three-storey building, which includes retail and office space, is being sold by estate agents Knight Frank.

It boasts several independent retailers and restaurants as well as a car park, which was refurbished four years ago.

Betting giants William Hill occupies office space within the building as its global HQ and integral technical gaming hub.

Graham Foxton, investment partner with Knight Frank in Leeds, said: “The immediate vicinity of St Johns has seen a significant amount of regeneration in recent years with some 4,000 new student beds opening close by between 2020 and 2022 with more in the pipeline.

"St Johns also offers the opportunity to extend above the existing building, opening up development potential to residential, a hotel and other uses.

“We are very excited about the sale."

The shopping centre, which has an annual footfall of ten million people, was first opened in the 1980s.

It can be broken down into three elements as it hosts offices, a multi-storey car park and retail space, an estate agent's brochure says.

It adds that a buyer would have the opportunity for development potential to create a new building above the car park.

The offices comprise a total of 84,705 sq ft which can be accessed by three separate entrances, including an impressive double-height glazed main entrance.

The offices are brick built with aluminium casement windows with individual internal specifications.

Mr Foxton added: "Cromwell have been a worthy custodian of the scheme over the last six years and whilst St Johns has been a big part of my life and the most of the rest of the population in Leeds given its dominant location in the city centre, I am very keen to see the next stage of its development.

“The Northern Quarter has changed beyond recognition over recent years with the Leeds First Direct Arena and the newly constructed private-sector student accommodation.

"The potential development of St John’s will add to the quarter’s renaissance.

“On a more general point, this site is one of the largest mixed-use schemes to come forward in Leeds in recent months and several of these have been attracting strong interest.

"It is fair to say that ringing St John’s to the market demonstrates a healthy and well-founded confidence in the current real estate market in Leeds”.

The centre, a 10 minute walk from the central train station, is being offered for £33million.

A selling brochure adds: "The property comprises 84,705 sq ft of fully let office
accommodation, a 278 space car park leased to Q-Park Ltd with parent guarantee and annual fixed increases for a further 37 years, growing restaurant and fast food uses and a small element of retail income.

"The total net income is £2,851,391, therefore a sale at £33,000,000 would reflect a net initial yield of 8.09%.

"In addition, the property has a significant opportunity to add to the income with the future development of a student or standard residential scheme, subject to

(SWNS | Ashley Pemberton)



For national Mental Health Awareness Week (10 – 16 May), Leeds City Council is launching a range of new resources created by young people for young people to support positive mental health and wellbeing.

These include peer support opportunities, a guide to creating a youth ‘wellbeing club’ from the Leeds Youth Council, and a website sharing advice on managing stress and anxiety by the Leeds Children’s Mayor. The new resources are all the result of collaborative projects run by Leeds City Council as part of the Child Friendly Leeds ambition.

The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on child and youth mental health in the city has been highlighted by the young people involved in various Youth Voice initiatives, including the Leeds Children’s Mayor and the Leeds Youth Council and the city’s three members of Youth Parliament.

They have reported increased feelings of stress and anxiety among their peers due to remote learning, collapsing bubbles, uncertainty over examinations and assessments, lack of social contact and worries about the future.

Leeds Children’s Mayor, Samuel Hill, a Year 6 pupil at Carr Manor Community School, has worked with his classmates and Leeds City Council staff, to create the Helping Hand website for local primary school pupils. It features a variety of ideas and activities devised by children to help manage stress and anxiety.

Pupils in Leeds schools can also train to become ‘School MindMate Ambassadors’ and run activities promoting positive emotional health. A new resource pack and training programme guides pupils through activities such as creating a ‘wellbeing space’, making a mental health pledge wall or running an assembly about mental health. The programme is a collaboration between the Health and Wellbeing Service at Leeds City Council and local charity Space2.

Throughout the lockdowns young people from the Leeds Youth Council, UK Youth Parliament Leeds and the Together Leeds Youth network came together online to share ideas about how to help other young people with their mental health.

They decided to create a booklet to help schools and youth groups to run ‘wellbeing clubs’ and try out wellbeing activities like journaling, dance, group discussions and creative arts all designed to explore emotional wellbeing. The booklets are being posted to high schools and youth groups across the city, and copies will also be available for collection from the Public Health Resource Centre at Technorth in Chapel Allerton

The Leeds Children’s Mayor, Samuel Hill: "I know, as a child, that lockdown has affected everyone and this is why I've wanted to create the website. Helping Hand is all about giving the children of Leeds the resources to lift their mood and create somewhere to share any tips to de-stress and improve wellbeing."

Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Children, Families and Adult Social Care: “We’re incredibly proud that young people from Leeds have drawn on their own experiences during the pandemic to create valuable resources to help their peers improve their mental health and wellbeing.”

Sal Tariq, Director of Children and Families: “Enabling Leeds children and young people to thrive and enjoy positive mental health is at the heart of our ambition to be a Child Friendly City. As these initiatives show, Leeds City Council works hard to empower children and young people in our city to use their voices and experiences to make a difference.”

Visit the MindMate Leeds website, mindmate.org.uk, to find out more about wellbeing support for young people across the city.



These breathtaking drone shots show a ‘daredevil’ workman painting the very top of a lighthouse - which sits 130ft in the air.

The fantastic photos were captured at Withernsea Lighthouse near Hull, East Yorks on Wednesday (May 5).

A workman can be seen tethered to the large, white structure, which he is clinging on to with one hand while painting with the other.

In the stunning pictures, painter Ian Hairsine, 42, can be seen painting a golden dial at the very top while enjoying a truly unique view of the seaside town.

Ian, who grew up in the town, said that the lighthouse is the most unique project he’s ever done, which he hopes will be done in three weeks.

Ian said: “You need to be a bit of a daredevil to do this job. I’ve done things like skydiving, so I think that’s why they picked me to go on these jobs.

“The first day is always a bit scary until I’ve been around it once and I know where to stand, but as I go on I feel fine.

“But I’m not afraid of heights.

“I’m the only one who does it. My dad used to, but he is in his 70s now.

“It’s so beautiful up there. It’s my hometown, so it’s nice to see it from that perspective which you don’t really see. It’s so serene up there.

“It’s nice, you can see for miles.

“As a painter I don’t think this is normally in the job description, it’s quite unique.”

The pictures were taken by amateur snapper Andy Medcalf, 54, who took his drone out for a spin as he watched the painters daub away in the sky.

Andy said: “I knew what was going to happen so popped down with my drone.

“It was a fantastic moment to capture on camera. It takes quite some nerve to get up there and do what he did.

“I’m really happy with the way they came out.”

Next week he will take a bucket of white paint and start working on the main section.

(SWNS | Barnaby Kellaway)

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