Fears that a Leeds heritage centre, which has been based in a pop up shop for six months, could lose its temporary home have been realised.
The popular volunteer-led Morley Heritage Centre in Albion Street was set up by Tingley pensioner Peter Aldred last year, after he decided to try and put his life’s collection of local history on public display.
The empty shop unit’s owners have taken up the option to evict Peter with just two week’s notice having found a full rent-paying tenant. The collection must be moved by Wednesday.
But East Street Arts (ESA), the charity which negotiated the temporary home for the centre through its In Situ scheme, has found a new site – a former pound shop in Queen Street – until a permanent home is found.
Adele O’Donoghue, volunteer treasurer and school liaison officer for the centre, said that she has already been told that a tenant is being lined up for their new temporary premises and fears it is need of repair work.
Claiming the unit was she said: “We’ve got a feeling we won’t be in the pound shop long before we are turfed out, so we are struggling. We want to create a heritage museum that is all about the area that is going to be a long-term part of the community.”
Since the centre’s inception, a number of enthusiasts have joined to create an official committee with the help of Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls.
The collection features more than 2,000 photographs and 100 artefacts covering the old Morley Borough’s mining, industrial and social heritage.
Adelle Stripe, from ESA, said: “There is a contingency plan that we have that’s around finding him a space for now so that the heritage centre continues.”
Mr Balls said: “Peter has worked so hard to get the heritage centre up and running and it’s really disappointing that the collection will now need to move. What we really need is a permanent home for Peter’s collection.”
Call (0113) 2527345 to get involved with the centre.
UNBLET SITES HELPING BOOST ARTS
A treasure trove of artefacts telling the story of the old Morley Borough’s history is housed by Morley Heritage Centre.
With photographs and stories from Morley, Tingley, Drighlington, Gildersome, East and West Ardsley and beyond, the centre has displays about the long-lost Gommersal’s pop factory, the local textiles industry and the area’s mining heritage.
The intervention of East Street Arts (ESA) and its In Situ scheme saw Peter Aldred find a prominent space for his life’s collection.
In Situ pairs up arts projects with unlet business venues to fill up empty units, create public exhibitions and generate new interest in landlords’ properties.
ESA has over 60 UK In Situ locations.