Art gallery plan for Leeds Tetley’s brewery site

SENSE OF HISTORY: Kerry Harker and Pippa Hale of Project Space Leeds at Tetley's headquarters building.

SENSE OF HISTORY: Kerry Harker and Pippa Hale of Project Space Leeds at Tetley's headquarters building.

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Plans are on the drawing board to transform the Leeds Tetley’s brewery site, the YEP can reveal.

PLANS are on the drawing board to transform the Leeds Tetley’s brewery site, the YEP can reveal.

A contemporary art gallery, run by Project Space Leeds, a 900-space car park and 1.2 acre recreational park are set to be proposed.

The demolition of 37 buildings on the 189-year-old brewery site starts on Monday, opening the door to the possible development.

Kerry Harker, a director of PSL, said: “We’re keen not to see the building empty for five years and to actually do something that is exciting. The idea is also reincorporating part of the city that has not been open for public access for over 100 years.”

The plans centre around the Tetley’s headquarters building, which has been empty since the brewery closed in June.

A new gallery for PSL, who are based in Whitehall Waterfront, would display contemporary visual art and transform it into educational rooms, a bistro bar, gallery and workspace for other creative industries.

Tens of jobs would be created if the plans were given the go-ahead, while more than 100 Carlsberg staff will continue to work in nearby Tetley’s House.

Ms Harker said: “We’re keen to invite artists for residencies and look at the archive of Tetley’s, which we would be custodians of. I would like to conserve it and make artists respond to that.”

The project would provide at least a five-year solution to the land’s usage and could be complete by March 2013 if approved by council planners.

Pippa Hale, also a PSL director, said: “Every major regional city has its own contemporary art gallery and we feel that there has been a real gap in provision in Leeds and that was behind our intention to move.”

She said that the project is to be half public and half private funded and it aimed to mirror Manchester’s Corner House and MIMA in Middlesbrough.

Ms Hale said: “We have had speculative conversations with council officers and elected members, which have all been very positive, as well as with Arts Council England who are core to our funding.”

The 900-space car park is hoped to ease pressure on the city’s parking facilities and possibly relocate spaces from the Meadow Lane car park to create even more green space.

Hunslet Road, which runs through the centre of the site and has been closed to the public for decades, would also be reopened for pedestrians.

A Carlsberg UK spokesman said: “We are continuing our discussions with Leeds City Council as regards proposals for the future use of the site and the wider development of the ‘Leeds South Bank’ area.”

The plans are set to be submitted to the council by the end of September, after a public exhibition outlines them to locals.

It will take place at Tetley’s House, which is accessible from Crown Point Road, on September 22 from 1pm to 8pm.

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