Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Major developer in administration

The proposed Lumiere skyscraper
Linfoot's Lumiere skyscraper project in Leeds is currently on hold

One of Leeds' biggest developers has gone into administration - but its multi-million pound projects and jobs should not be affected.

K W Linfoot has been responsible for a large part of the regeneration of Leeds City Centre.

It is still involved in Manor Mills in Leeds, where 275 flats have been pre-sold, and the Manyoo apartments close to the BBC's "media city" in Salford.

These will be taken over by their joint venture partners, Linfoot said.

Another major Linfoot project in Leeds city centre, the 225m Lumiere scheme, including one of Europe's tallest residential buildings, was put on ice last year. It will also be run by venture partners.

The firm has already pared down its staff from 34 to 10 over recent months.

Appetite from overseas

Linfoot said it had managed to reduce its debts from 55m to just 2.6m but the directors were not able to inject any more funds and the banks had "effectively strangled the business and denied it any opportunity to trade through these difficult times".

A company statement said: "The board recognised the problems in the market and UK banking sector some 12 months ago and since then has been actively seeking alternative funding routes.

"It has identified a significant appetite from overseas investors who remain very enthusiastic about investing in the UK and have been willing to invest up to 50m into KW Linfoot schemes.

" Unfortunately the lack of bank funding to match their investment has resulted in potential deals falling through."

Terry Hodgkinson, chair of the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, said: "We are extremely disappointed to hear that KW Linfoot has gone into administration as a result of the current economic climate, which as we know is having a significant impact on the property development industry."

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