Leonardo Building, located next to Leeds City Museum, caught on fire during the October holidays last year. Crowds of revellers and passers-by alike watched firefighters tackle the blaze from Millennium Square as safety cordons were slowly extended around the neighbouring Revolution cocktail bar.
Around 80 firefighters attended the scene, battling the three floor inferno throughout the night. West Yorkshire Police released a statement the day after the fire erupted announcing that the incident was to be treated as arson and appealing to the public for information.
A salvage worker at the construction site have said that, “They’re starting to rebuild the central parts of the structure. I think they [McLaren’s construction workers] were using a wood base on metal scaffolding, a lot of the old material we’ve been taking down is unusable so replacing it may take a while.”
Leonardo Building, the scene of the crime, is a Grade II listed building and used to house printing works in the late Victorian era. Leeds City Council recently distributed a £62 million redevelopment bid to renovate the building into student accommodation. McLaren’s property division aims to finish construction in time for the 2023/24 cohort of students.