City Buzz: Date set for launch of Leeds’s new ‘art hostel’

The Art Hostel at Bird's Yard. Picture: James Hardisty.

The Art Hostel at Bird's Yard. Picture: James Hardisty.

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THE news that a quirky new art hostel was opening in Leeds got tongues wagging last year – and saw supporters dig deep to help fund the plans.

Now City Buzz understands the project is nearing completion – with a launch date set for the end of next month.

The Art Hostel is a new project by East Street Arts that will see rooms designed by local artists who are allowed to let their creativity and imagination run free – with one of the wackiest ideas including a David Bowie puppet that sings songs to you from within a mirror.

The East Street Arts charity raised over £6,000 for the hostel – £1,000 over its original target.

The money will help pay for the work of the artists.

The hostel at the old Bird’s Yard site on Kirkgate will have room for up to 30 people in shared dorms and private rooms.

Prices will start at £20 per night and members of the hospitality sector will be employed at the hostel to ensure everything runs smoothly.

John Slemensek, who is over-seeing the funding and communications side of the hostel project, said: “It has been a mad race to get it done but it’s been great.

“The artists are working on their rooms and it is starting to feel really real now.”

With new Yorkshire Café and bar Wapentake opening on the street last week, and Kirkgate Market getting a multi-million pound revamp, this part of the city centre could start to get a new lease of life.

For more about the Art Hostel, visit or follow @arthostelleeds on Twitter.