Stories from the Heritage at Risk List – The Majestic
One of Leeds’ true city centre icons is in the middle of a £40 million redevelopment which will return it to its former glory and a whole lot more. The Majestic building in City Square was purchased by Rushbond plc and the firm’s proposals for a new 7-storey, 66,000 sq ft office building were approved by the City Council in early 2017. The building was surveyed by the Heritage at Risk Group volunteers from Leeds Civic Trust for their city-wide list of ‘at risk’ heritage sites. The Majestic was deemed ‘vulnerable’ and the new developments are a positive step towards saving the iconic structure.
The Majestic was originally built as a cinema in 1922 but was later turned into a bingo hall. It is perhaps best known to Leeds residents as the Majestyk nightclub which was a central feature of the city’s booming nightlife of the 1990s. After a fire caused severe damage to the building in 2014, the developers turned the tragedy into an opportunity to do a major redevelopment of the building. The plans include a new three-storey atrium, offering a grand entrance to the building, as well as fourth and fifth story terraces overlooking City Square. The development is crowned with a glass dome roof which will make the new Majestic stand out as one of the truly stunning office spaces in Leeds.
With the proposed £500 million expansion of Leeds Station and the further developments planned for the arrival of HS2, the major redevelopment of the Majestic comes at the best possible time. The North’s busiest station will have a striking new building in City Square to welcome the millions of passengers as they emerge onto the streets of Leeds.
Leeds City Region is home to 3 million people with an annual economic output of £64 billion, making it the largest economy in the Northern Powerhouse and the biggest outside of London. The work currently underway at the Majestic building is almost symbolic of the emergence of Leeds as a major force in the UK’s economic future. Rushbond have confirmed that the work should be complete in June 2019 and the Grade A, super-prime office space will be available either to multiple tenants or for a single tenant to occupy the entire 66,000 sq ft space. Either way, the return of the Majestic to the Leeds city skyline will be a truly momentous moment, and the Leeds Civic Trust volunteers who surveyed this historic site can be proud of their involvement in its revival.