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Four firms battle it out for one of Britain's oldest industrial sites

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Allies and Morrison and Studio Egret West are among four firms fighting it out for the £300 million regeneration of Kirkstall Forge in Leeds - one of the oldest industrial sites in the country.

PCKO and Proctor and Matthews complete the shortlist for the international contest to overhaul the 23ha site, which currently includes listed mill cottages and forges.

Some 230 new-build residential units will be created, the listed forge building will be converted and a number of listed cottages will be refurbished under the proposals from developer Commercial Estates Group (CEG).

The redevelopment will make use of existing features on the site, including industrial archaeology and the riverside. More than half the site will be green space, and a new railway station will link the forge with Leeds city centre.

The four shortlisted firms were selected from a longlist of 22 practices and will now work closely with CEG's team of consultants, including Davis Langdon (project management), Aedas (masterplanner), Alan Baxter Associates (highway design) and Randle Siddeley (landscape architect).

Charles Johnson, development manager at CEG, said: 'We were incredibly impressed with the calibre of the architects that visited the forge. All were invited to submit their initial design ideas and they came up with some very inspirational concepts.

'Shortlisting was a tough process and was based on the track record of the architects who we felt could best deliver the most cutting-edge and vibrant designs for the site, as well as looking at the individual's approach and energy to Kirkstall Forge.'

The four practices will now be asked to present concepts and drawings.

by Angus Montgomery

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