Music hub submits ‘alternative’ to pub plan for north Leeds centre

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A community organisation has drawn up alternative plans for the future of the Grade II-listed Elinor Lupton Centre in Headingley - to turn it into a music hub rather than a pub.

Campaigners’ battle to bring the former Leeds Girls’ High School building back into community use is continuing apace despite the building’s owners JD Wetherspoon Plc submitting a planning application earlier this year to turn it into a pub.

Elinor Lupton Centre, Leeds

Elinor Lupton Centre, Leeds

Leeds City Council has yet to make a decision on the pub chain’s plans which have attracted many objections from the local community, who argue that Headingley does not need more pubs.

Once a theatre and music centre, the Elinor Lupton Centre has remained empty since 2010 after the old high school closed.

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Now Leeds Music Hub, currently based on Wood Lane in Headingley, has offered up its long-held proposals to showcase how it would use the building - which they now hope will be considered as the main alternative to Wetherspoon’s plan.

The not-for-profit organisation - which provides a meeting and teaching space for local musicians - says the scheme includes a large-scale performance space, studio and rehearsal space, creative office space, as well as at least doubled capacity for tuition, café space, music shop, ensembles, workshops and seminars.

Director Kate Zezulka said they have outgrown their current base so the Elinor Lupton Centre would be a “perfect fit”.

“It has an amazing auditorium space on the ground floor and teaching rooms on the top floor and workshops space. It’s just brilliant. It would be a very exciting upscale for us. We’re still very keen to keep fighting for it.”

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said they are unaware of the music hub’s plans and added: “We are as keen as ever to open a pub on site. A planning application has gone in and we await the outcome of that application.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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