Last-ditch effort to save Leeds school from bulldozers

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Campaigners have been given a “ray of hope” in their fight to save a landmark former school from demolition.

The Royal Park Community Consortium have been working to find a way for the building to be reopened as a school or other community facility since its closure in 2004.

Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed in principal to the demolition of the building but they have thrown a lifeline to campaigners.

Councillor Richard Lewis said he would be willing to speak to community groups or interested parties about the site of the former school, in Hyde Park.

The Consortium are calling for a meeting with council bosses to discuss ways in which the school building can be saved.

Sue Buckle from the Consortium said: “The door hasn’t banged shut. We went in expecting the worse.

“The building is part of Hyde Park’s history and people feel there is a place for the building in the community.

“I will be sending a message to the leader of the council to say thank you for giving us this ray of hope and try to do the best we can.”

Local MP Greg Mulholland added: “I am relieved that the council have not yet taken the decision to demolish the site but instead are having last ditch discussions with local residents and interested parties.”

But members of the executive board gave the green light to go ahead with the demolition of the West Park Centre and Beeston’s South Leeds Sports Centre, which closed in 2010.

The YEP reported that the West Park Centre was temporarily closed in November last year for urgent repairs.

Campaigners, including councillors and former users of WPC, have been desperately trying to save the building.

But a report said demolition is the most “cost effective”option.

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