River Aire bridge Leeds
The new bridge over the River Aire, Leeds.
Rebecca Wayman

£1.5m pedestrian bridge over River Aire in Leeds now complete with Leeds LEP approval

Sustainable urban developer Citu has completed a £1.5m pedestrian bridge in Leeds.

The 50-metre structure provides a link across the River Aire from Leeds’ South Bank to the city centre.

Labour MP Hilary Benn conducted the official ribbon cutting at a local event last Friday (October 11), joining the developer and residents in a ceremonial walk across the bridge.

It will now be used by the growing community as a pedestrian and cycle route into the city, aiming to halve the walking time from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes.

The steel bridge, designed by Halifax-based Gagarin Studio and Hebden Bridge-based DP Squared, links Citu’s Phases One and Two of the Climate Innovation District either side of the River Aire.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hilary Benn said: “This is a bridge to the future. It’s about building communities as it will connect residents in the new homes to the city centre and will encourage more people to walk over the river as the South Bank develops.

“It is a fantastic development and I want to say thank you to Citu for what you are doing as you are showing what is possible. We want more developers to build homes in this way, as this is how we are going to beat the threat of climate change in this country.”

As well as creating a link for communities in Cross Green, Hunslet and beyond, the three-metre-wide bridge has been engineered to accommodate Leeds City Council’s planned £40m district heat network as part of the South Bank regeneration project.

Citu’s development director, Jonathan Wilson, added: “The bridge is an eye-catching landmark that the city can be proud of.

“Not only does it offer a crucial physical link across the river, better connecting the area to the city centre for pedestrians and cyclists; it’s a stunning piece of architecture in its own right.

“Connectivity, promoting a healthier way of life and innovative design are at the heart of the Climate Innovation District, and this bridge embodies all of that and more.”

Citu received a £1m loan from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growing Places Fund to help fund the cost of the bridge.

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