Monkbridge Viaduct Link Structure, Wellington Place, Leeds by Sheppard Robson Architects

Monk Bridge viaduct open once again

The space has been closed off for 40 years, but now Wellington Place developer MEPC has installed a lift and staircase, creating an elevated urban park in Leeds’ West End.

A landscaped park, including pathways, seating and planting, has been created by City Developments on the viaduct, bringing a new link from the Junction waterside development through to Wellington Place and the city beyond.

Sheppard Robson designed the viaduct link.

The Junction comprises 665 apartments across five blocks. City Developments, a Singapore-listed global property group, intends to bring live music, shopping, and food and drink to the viaduct’s arch spaces.

According to its half-yearly update in August, three of the five blocks are now complete, accounting for 307 apartments. Committed occupancy at that point was 68.1%

The grade two-listed Monk Bridge viaduct was built around 1846 as part of the new railway network being constructed in the Wellington Street area of Leeds.

It became an important part of Leeds Central Station which was completed in 1857, carrying high level lines to the station and connecting to a lifting tower which still stands on the Wellington Place development today.

The viaduct went out of use when Central Station closed in 1967, and it was partially demolished and blocked off after the 1980s.

Sheppard Robson was the architect. Credit: Adrian Lambert

Paul Pavia, head of development at MEPC, said: “Creating accessible and welcoming public realm has always been a vital part of the Wellington Place offer and we are thrilled to have built on this through this exciting project.

“Furthermore, as a long-term developer we are hugely respectful of the local history that forms part of Wellington Place and the surrounding area and are passionate about sensitively bringing it back to life for people to enjoy and use as a greener way to travel.”

He added: “The delivery of this project has been a collaborative process between ourselves, our construction partner Wates, City Developments, Leeds City Council and others, and we are thrilled with the results.”

Wellington Place has continued to attract tenants in 2023, with the flagship new-builds 11 and 12 Wellington Place to the fore – JLL was the latest firm to commit, taking 10,000 sq ft in July.

Neil McGinty, UK development director at City Developments, said: “Occupation of The Junction is progressing well and the completion of the Monk Bridge link is an important project milestone, providing safe access for our residents and to a fabulous new park for Leeds.

“We know that good connectivity to the city centre is vital for residents and local people and the vision being delivered here at The Junction and by our neighbours at Wellington Place is testament to our commitment and passion to deliver high quality public spaces. We are excited that the Monk Bridge viaduct will become an intrinsic part of the city’s landscape for many years to come.”

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