New Homes to Breathe New Life into Leicester Shoe Factory

cgi of housing

When it was built in 1891, Wheatsheaf Works was one of the largest footwear factories in the world. Owned by the Co-operative Wholesale Society, it supplied a wealth of employment opportunities in the south east of Leicester.

The landmark site, with its two Grade II listed factory buildings and clock tower, will now be transformed into 172 high quality homes to meet the housing needs of the local community

Plans for the development, which comprises a mixture of brand new townhouses and converted homes in the original buildings, have been devised by Leicester architects JSP Architecture. The project will be developed by Urban Rhythm – the specialist regeneration arm of luxury local housebuilder The Hazelton Group.

Richard Hazelton, Commercial Director at The Hazelton Group said, “We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for this stunning new development.

“We’re sure our refurbishment of the Grade II listed buildings, which have been left derelict for the past 10 years, and development of the surrounding site will act as a catalyst to draw homeowners to the area and help to regenerate the local community.

“The scheme will breathe new life back into a building steeped in history so that it may be appreciated as an integral part of the community once again.”

Justin Fox, Design Architect at JSP Architecture said, “We are pleased to be working with Urban Rhythm on such a landmark site in the city of Leicester and deliver a scheme of this quality and magnitude in the current economic climate.

“We will continue to liaise closely with Leicester City Council to ensure that our desire to score very highly on the Building for Life criteria, which is a new integral part of the City Council’s core strategy, is achieved.”

The ornate, Neo-Jacobean main factory building will be converted into a series of townhouses using contemporary interventions into the existing fabric of the building. The homes will be located around an extensive landscaped courtyard. This layout will help ensure the development has a real sense of community.

The design of the new build houses will contrast the beautiful historic fa├žade of the listed buildings and help to further create this new community drawing on the founding principles of the Co-operative philosophy of community living. Urban Rhythm will work to ensure that these homes reach either Eco Homes Level ‘Very Good’ or Code Sustainable Homes Level 3.

For more information about the new homes at Wheatsheaf Works, call Urban Rhythm on 01536 714920 or visit