As the nation and the Yorkshire region continues to deal with the challenges of the currently ongoing coronavirus, Leeds Skelton Lake Services has joined existing Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) to provide important “critical infrastructure”.
The high quality new Service Area satisfies an essential road safety requirement, supporting necessary journeys for Key Workers, the Distribution/Logistics sector and Emergency Services on the Strategic Road Network. This essential role for MSAs has been fully endorsed by the Secretary of State for Transport (Rt. Hon Grant Shapps) in a recent letter to all MSA Operators.
Extra MSA Group has opened this next generation MSA at M1 Junction 45, combining a high standard of design with a range of environmentally friendly initiatives to meet the demands of future connectivity, together with evolving transportation and customer trends. Situated just two miles east of Leeds City Centre, Leeds Skelton Lake Services officially welcomed its first visitors Monday 30 March and is a £64m investment providing some 300 full time equivalent permanent new jobs for the Leeds City Region.
Although due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the new development has had to open on what is a phased basis, it is from day one already providing a safe, clean and attractive friendly environment where motorists and all road users can stop for a rest, comfort break and to refuel, as well as recharging their Electric Vehicles.
Once fully operational, Leeds Skelton Lake Services will offer a wide range of popular ‘brands’ within the spacious and attractively designed Food Court & Amenity Building, together with a Business Centre and 100 Bedroom Ramada Hotel.
Initially and due to the challenges of coronavirus, the new Texaco Fuel Filling Station and combined Spar Convenience Store is now open, inclusive of Costa Coffee and other food & beverage “On-the-Go” product ranges. There are extensive facilities for HGV drivers and their vehicles, as well as parking for all other categories of vehicle and the new IONITY high powered EV Charging Stations.
The Customer WC & Washrooms / Showers within the Amenity Building are also open, with high standards of hygiene and operating with the appropriate precautionary measures. Extra will be arranging for the opening of the full complementary range of popular ‘brand’ outlets in the Food Court & Amenity Building as soon as reasonably possible.
Once fully operational and working in conjunction with Extra’s other tenant operating partners, the uniquely designed Food Court & Amenity Building will host Nando’s, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, LEON, Pizza Express, Harry Ramsden’s, Upper Crust, Pasty Shop, Mi Casa and Chopstix, together with Urban Express and other complementary brand outlets.
There will also be a new concept Sourced Market ‘branded’ food & beverage facility, inclusive of a Deli-Counter and a full range of high quality naturally produced products, many as sourced from the Yorkshire Region.
Crowned with a Living Green Roof, spanning architecturally stunning structural timber beams, the overall development has been attractively designed to complement its adjacent lakeside setting.
The Food Court & Amenity Building also incorporates a Wildlife Visitor Centre as to be operated by The RSPB, in conjunction with the proactive management of Skelton Lake and the surrounding well landscaped areas as now further enhanced by this new development.
Leeds Skelton Lake promises to be one of the most advanced and environmentally sustainable MSA facilities on the UK Motorway Network. In addition to providing its essential road safety role for the safe and efficient use of the Motorway Network, the development also facilitates a community area for use by local groups and complements the adjacent proposed development for 1,800 new homes.
It is also situated at a strategic ‘gateway’ location for Leeds City Region, serving the busy A63 and Motorway links for the surrounding Temple Green and other major commercial development areas, inclusive of the 1,000 space park & ride facility for the City Centre.
Andrew Long, CEO for Extra MSA Group, said: “In these unprecedented times, Extra is taking the necessary measures to ensure that those who need to move around the Country, inclusive of the Yorkshire Region, can do so safely, whilst taking all necessary and recommended ‘protection measures’ for our employees, customers and tenant brand operating partners.”
“Keeping MSAs opens is fundamental to the safe use of the UK Strategic Road Network and whilst these are challenging times, the opening of Leeds Skelton Lake Services will provide additional ‘critical infrastructure’ facilities as are also important for the National and Regional economy.”
“With Leeds Skelton Lake, Extra is also keen to be looking into the future, in terms of what users will require for both themselves and their vehicles. In addition to providing more than 300 full time equivalent new jobs, the process for the evolution of this new development has involved Extra working closely with many locally based stakeholders, including Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region LEP, Highways England, Leeds University & Colleges, together with the Ahead Partnership.”
IONITY COO D. Marcus Groll said: “Leeds Skelton Lake Services is an exemplary facility, showcasing where the future of Strategic Road Network transport is to be heading. Our high-power 350kW charging stations features the latest technology and drivers travelling through or past Leeds can rapidly recharge their vehicles with 100 per cent renewable energy.
“Our installation in Leeds represents a significant expansion across the UK throughout 2020 and we are delighted to be working closely with Extra MSA Group and look forward to opening further stations across motorway services operated by the Extra MSA Group. A high-power charging network like ours that serves customers on both motorways and major trunk roads is critical in making the transition to EV ownership possible.”
Construction of Leeds Skelton Lake Services first commenced in Summer 2018, with the new Roadway and a package of enabling works carried out by Henry Boot Construction, together with Morgan Sindall as the main Contractor for the overall development.
Mascot Management has been project ,anager, employers agent and principal designer. They and other contractors involved, as including Broham Forecourts and Brambledown Landscaping undertook obligations to employ local people and commit to developing skills and apprenticeships. During the construction works, numerous Schools and Students have been engaged with skills initiatives and supervised site visits, which have included elements of design, construction and biodiversity.
The stunning design has been developed by leading local Architects, Corstorphine & Wright (now incorporating Architecture 519). The design has employed new and innovative construction techniques including the use of especially fabricated glulam structure timber beams. The longest of these beams measures some 26m and was lifted into place by specialist cranes, creating a unique visual design and contributing to the achievement of high standards of sustainability for the overall development.