New boost for Leicester as council plans to invest millions in office space

Leicester city council has revealed proposals to invest in the redevelopment of a former factory building to create much-needed office space and units for start-up and growing businesses.

The council wants to transform Pilot House in King Street to create a new business community – providing high quality workspaces for companies who want to relocate to the city, creative agencies and new-talent start-ups.

Currently comprising of five separate but inter-connected buildings, Pilot House also has the capacity to offer units for start-up businesses, and the potential to accommodate independent retail units.

Under the council’s proposals, Pilot House would be transformed to provide a central courtyard and atrium for shared use, a business zone for technical and digital businesses, and a co-working lounge.

Existing industrial features including parquet flooring and exposed brick and beams would be retained, and a new entrance into the courtyard would be created from King Street.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Pilot House offers huge potential to provide much-needed, high quality office space in a very attractive part of the city. The investment we have already made in this area has brought in hundreds of jobs thanks to the relocation of Mattioli Woods.

“By redeveloping Pilot House we will be able to bring in hundreds more, and to cement the reputation of this area and the city as a fantastic place to do business. We would also expect to make an excellent return on our investment which will generate rental income for many years to come from what is currently a vastly under-used property.”

The council has submitted a planning application for the first stage of the redevelopment of the building. Further submissions will be made over next year.

If approved, the council will be seeking opportunities for external funding for the project. The cost of the whole project will be subject to a procurement exercise but could be in the region of £9 million.

Subject to planning permission and funding being obtained, it is hoped that work will begin in the spring of 2021.

Pilot House currently houses the city council’s post room, and a small number of organisations that the city council is to work with to relocate.