The £1.5 million South Bank bridge will provide a new route into the city centre for walkers and cyclists.

A new origami-inspired bridge connecting communities across the River Aire has been completed thanks to funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The bridge is part of the new eco village, officially known as the Climate Innovation District, being built at the city’s South Bank regeneration zone by sustainable urban developer Citu.

As well as connecting communities in Cross Green, Hunslet and beyond to the city centre, the three-metre wide bridge has been engineered to carry the Leeds PIPES District Heat Network.

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

The Growing Places Fund provides loan funding to kick-start stalled development or infrastructure projects that will create homes, jobs and other economic benefits in Leeds City Region.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), said: “The completion of the new River Aire bridge marks a milestone moment in the transformation of the South Bank area which is also home to the Growth Deal funded Leeds College of Building campus.

“We’re passionate about investing in projects which help people make healthier travel choices. Not only will the new bridge connect previously isolated communities to the city centre, it will allow them to walk or cycle in half the time it took before.  Additionally, it will carry the pipes for the district heat network which will provide low carbon heat and hot water for homes and businesses, helping us become a net zero carbon City Region by 2038 at the latest.”

Jonathan Wilson, Citu Development Director, said: “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.”

When it is completed, the £250 million Climate Innovation District will consist of more than 800 low carbon homes alongside leisure facilities, offices and green spaces.

The district heat network is not required for the Climate Innovation District due to the airtightness and low energy needs of the innovative timber-framed design, but it will offer both existing and future developments in the area the opportunity to benefit from the district heat network which will harness heat from the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) at Cross Green.

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