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Kirkstall Forge

Commercial Estates Group

Connecting a community with its past, present and future

Kirkstall Forge is a place with story spanning over 800 years. With roots that trace back through the birth of industry in England, this 23-hectare site alongside the River Aire in Leeds is now part of a long-term vision for the future, creating a new living, working community for the 21st century.

Developer CEG is leading this ambitious vision and together with a trusted team of partners looking to transform Kirkstall Forge into a place where a diverse community will thrive once again.

With a mix of workplace environments, townhouses, apartments, a school and leisure facilities, nestled in a lush green valley alongside the River Aire, Kirkstall Forge is a grand vision to reshape a whole area of the city.

As the key partner to help shape this vision, we were brought in early stages of the process to help define the Kirkstall Forge brand, what it should stand for and how it should take its place in the local consciousness.

A deep understanding

The first stage of any brand development project is thorough research and understanding, to gain a detailed awareness of local views, feelings and needs and its local context. Our first step was to examine multiple points of view, talking to young professionals, city dwellers, growing families and property agents.

We determine exactly what the people of Leeds and Kirkstall want from the development. This gave us a genuine, human understanding and perspective from which to build out crucial insights that then fed into the strategic foundation for the brand.

A brand shaped by history

Kirkstall is a place rich in history. The site had been a working forge since medieval times and was still a major local employer within living memory, so it was important to reflect this in our creation of a brand identity.

‘Made in Leeds’ echoes local pride and says this could only happen here; while the brand mark and typography hints at industry and heritage yet remained for a contemporary audience, A makers’ stamp communicates the seal of quality that the development will deliver.

The story so far...

Building upon an evolving framework of brand guidelines we are created a suite of collateral that both preserved the rich narrative of Kirkstalls past, celebrating its natural beauty and helped people understand how the vision will unfold.

Vitally the suite takes the reader through how the place will look in 10 years' time and vitally when a community of up to 9000 people will live, work and play there.

This is just the start

The brand identity, messaging and marketing collateral we’ve produced to date has already helped to secure pre-lets on the first phase of commercial development at Kirkstall Forge.

With a long-term project and such a broad scope though, we know there'll be plenty more work to do – and we’ll update this case study as and when we produce it. Watch this space!