Wolsey Island regeneration to ‘breathe new life’ into waterside brownfield site

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.

[MattMooreSirPeterSoulsby-Wolsey-30032017-8] Westleigh Property Director Matthew Moore (l) and Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby at the Wolsey Island site.

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.

[WolseyCGI8] An artist’s impression of the Wolsey Island development, with the converted water tower in the foreground and the Wolsey chimney remaining a fixture.

The site has been designed to capitalise on the location next to the River Soar, with up to 60% of the homes expected to have a waterfront view and the site is also directly connected to Pioneer Park.

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.

“I hope Westleigh’s vision will inspire other landowners to see the potential for their own sites in this area, and help to bring more of the city’s riverside back into use with new places to live and work.

“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 Whetstone-based Westleigh in partnership with Midland Heart, which aims to provide over 400 new homes on a number of key disused sites across Leicester city.

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