The modern Leeds Tetley marks its third birthday

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In its hey day the Tetley brewery employed more than 1,000 people and during the 1980s was the world’s largest producer of cask ales.

But after nearly 200 years, operations were moved to other Carlsberg sites and the Leeds brewery closed in 2011.

Tetley's Brewery in the 1950s.

Tetley's Brewery in the 1950s.

By the following year the brewery had been demolished.
However, the old headquarters were saved and it became a centre for contemporary arts, embracing heritage but giving it a modern twist.

It was hoped that by the end of its third year, The Tetley might have welcomed in the region of 100, 000 visitors.

But, before the third anniversary falls on Wednesday, the project has tripled that prediction – with 330,000 visitors passing through the doors since it opened as a fit for purpose, public building.

Through its programme of contemporary art, exhibitions and events The Tetley has supported the work of more than 170 artists, seen over 8,000 people take part in family events every year and supported over 50 artists develop skills in delivering education events for both primary school children and teenagers.

Tetley Brewery Leeds 1933.

Tetley Brewery Leeds 1933.

At a special birthday bash on Wednesday there will be performances and speeches, rum cocktails courtesy of Appleton Estate, a birthday cake courtesy of Street Lane Bakery, and music until late. Project Space Leeds, an arts charity which runs The Tetley, will also announce details of its 2017 programme including a new partnership that will bring new work from South Asia to The Tetley.

The programme also includes “These books were alive they spoke to me”, a two month exhibition of printed matter and performance works by Barcelona-based artist Dora Garcia.

And the 20th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, the longest-running outside of London, is at the attraction for two days on March 4 and 5.

In addition, London-based artist Jessie Flood­-Paddock brings her work to Leeds, as does celebrated 20th century sculptor Kenneth Armitage from May.

The wider Tetley site could eventually hold 1,635 new homes, making it one of the city’s largest and most expansive urban housing schemes. Last year it was sold by the then owners, Carlsberg UK, for an undisclosed sum to Vastint, the property division of the IKEA group. The ambitious plans emerged earlier this year as an overall vision for development of the city centre.

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