Connecting our customers

Residents living on our big Wolsey Island development in Leicester now have a direct and attractive walking and cycling route to Belgrave and the towpath of the Grand Union canal.

A new footbridge spanning the canal has been completed ahead of schedule and is the final phase of a £25m regeneration of a former Wolsey hosiery factory site into almost 200 new homes and apartments.

The development – completed in partnership with leading developer Countryside and Leicester City Council – provides a range of housing and tenures.

Our chief executive Glenn Harris, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Countryside and the city council to bring a number of much-needed new affordable homes to the heart of Leicester.

“The bridge is the final chapter in the Wolsey Island story, providing a lasting physical link between the city and the thriving new community we’ve created on the island.”

Named after the famous hosiery manufacturer, the site is better known locally as Sock Island. The new bridge – Bennion Footbridge – takes its name from businessman and philanthropist Charles Bennion who owned the British United Shoe Machinery site on the opposite canal bank.

The pre-finished metal Bennion Footbridge was transported to Wolsey Island by lorry and was lifted into place by giant crane in just two hours. Work to landscape and light the pathways and bridge will be completed this month.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The housing development at Wolsey Island is really something quite special and Countryside and Midland Heart are to be applauded for their ambitious vision to create a thriving new neighbourhood.

“The new Bennion Footbridge plays an important part in this. It provides a much-improved link for people who walk or cycle, encourages more exploration of the city’s waterways and is a fitting nod to the history of this important location.”

Glyn Mabley, managing director of Partnerships East Midlands, Countryside, added that the new footbridge brought “a real benefit to all and helped reignite the many positive attributes Leicester has to offer its residents.”

12th November 2020 | 2020