Plans to revive historic Leeds mills

Temple Mill in Leeds.

Temple Mill in Leeds.

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EXPERTS have said the planned restoration of a historic former flax mill in Leeds will form a vital part of plans to safeguard the county’s industrial heritage.

Historic England officials visited the city today to announce the launch of a new study looking at how “at risk” textile mills in West Yorkshire can be saved.

They also met with developers behind the plans to revive Temple Mill, a Grade I listed building, in Holbeck, which is on the Heritage at Risk register.

Built in an Egyptian style and once housing the largest room in the world it is one of the most unusual and instantly recognisable textile mills in Yorkshire. Parts of the building are used as an arts venue but the main spinning mill has serious structural issues.

Historic England, formerly English Heritage, is working with developer Citu and Leeds City Council on an plan for it to be a leading cultural venue at the heart of a residential and commercial development.

Historic England said it was also commissioning a study to explore new ways of bringing mills back into use.

Tammy Whitaker, Historic England’s planning and conservation director for Yorkshire, said: “The textile mills once defined West Yorkshire. We want to work with owners and local authorities to bring these buildings, many on our Heritage at Risk register, back in use. They were at the centre of the industrial revolution and by converting them into homes and businesses, they can once again help drive the 21st Century Northern Powerhouse.”

Duncan Wilson, the new chief executive of Historic England and Sir Laurie Magnus its chairman are in the city to present plans for Yorkshire in the year ahead.

Mr Wilson said: “This is a new era for Yorkshire’s heritage and Historic England is committed to working with local communities, owners and partners to ensure this heritage is valued and protected. From Yorkshire’s special historic buildings to those that form the backdrop to everyday life, this heritage is the physical embodiment of the past and the legacy that together we shall carry into the future.”

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