Developer opens Leeds HQ as work continues on former Kirkstall District Centre site

The new Artisan team, with a model of the proposed Saltaire development

The developer behind £65 million plans to redevelop the former Kirkstall District Centre site is launching a North of England operation headquartered in Leeds. 

Artisan Real Estate is restructuring its UK-wide operation following the announcement that UK Property Director, Clive Wilding, is stepping away from the business during the next few months into retirement. 

Artisan’s initial focus will be predominately large-scale residential brownfield development as the company looks to focus predominately on sustainable and low carbon projects in the Leeds area and further afield across Yorkshire. 

kirkstall place
An artist’s impression of the new Kirkstall Place development.

Artisan North launched its first major project in late 2021 – the £65 million Kirkstall Place scheme for 263-new sustainable homes, which are currently under construction.

The five-acre site, formerly home to Kirkstall District Centre, is due to be completed in 2024 and has been designed to set new UK benchmarks in sustainable and low carbon volume residential development.  

The developer has also recently announced the acquisition of an 11-acre site adjacent to the Salts Mill World Heritage Site in Saltaire with proposals currently being prepared to create a new residential led mixed-use community. Pre-application consultation has now been completed, with an on-site date target set for next year..  

Artisan’s North of England business will now be headed up by James Bulmer who has been promoted to Regional Development Director and is supported by a newly recruited seven-strong in-house team combining full development function with a direct build capability – spanning project management, commercial, technical and sales.  This includes the appointment of Stacey Finneran as regional sales manager.

James Bulmer, Development Director for Artisan North said: “We are now in a superb position to capitalise on the growth and investment in Leeds and the wider Yorkshire areas. Our Kirkstall Place development will provide an ideal springboard to take forward the Artisan model of sustainable low carbon development on brownfield sites in sensitive environmental areas.  Our next development in Saltaire will provide the perfect example of the kind of innovative and ambitious transformational development that has defined the Artisan approach across the rest of the UK, and we look forward to moving this forward along with other projects currently in the pipeline.” 

Mr Wilding, who for the last 13 years has been the driving force behind Artisan’s evolution into one of the UK’s most progressive and respected commercial and residential developers, is retiring after 46 years in the property industry. Having stepped down from the Board in March 2022, he will continue to support Artisan in an advisory capacity for the remainder of the year. 

Clive Wilding’s tenure at Artisan incorporates some of the most significant and award-winning city centre developments delivered anywhere in the UK over the last decade. T

his included Edinburgh’s New Waverley, a £250 million transformation of the heart of the city’s historic Old Town into a thriving mixed-use community, the regeneration of Glasgow’s famous Custom House building into a riverside hotel complex and the conversion of the Everards Print Works in Bristol to a vibrant hotel, residential and commercial quarter.  Wilding also helped drive Artisan’s sustainable low-carbon residential development agenda, incorporating strong guiding principles which set new best-practice benchmarks for sustainable housing developments in the UK – now being delivered in Kirkstall Place and in the centre of Edinburgh.  

Speaking of his time at Artisan, Mr Wilding said: “I have been immensely fortunate to have been involved in some truly memorable and development projects during my time at Artisan. I am especially pleased to have shone the development spotlight firmly on high-quality city centre regional development. It is fitting that our regional offices now have the right platform to build on that legacy and continue to deliver transformational development to the benefit of our people, our cities and our wider environment.”  


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