TWO of Leeds’s most iconic features are to have more than £1m of “essential” roofwork, after new fears that they at risk of falling into major disrepair and deterioration.
Council bosses have just signed off almost £1.2m of funding to carry out the re-roofing works at Leeds City Art Gallery and Central Library.
More than £500,000 will be spent on the library roof and the same amount for the art gallery roof, with additional costs covering fees for planning and bat surveys.
A report just approved by the council’s director of city development says the rooves are at “varying stages of disrepair”.
“Leeds City Art Gallery and Central Library have been identified as requiring essential roof works in order to maintain the integrity of the building,” the report says.
“It is considered that re-roofing works are required to extend the use and life of the properties.
“The building is at risk of further deteriorations if these works are not carried out in the near future.
“These are public buildings and as such, this work is vital to ensure that both public health and public safety are not compromised.”
The report adds that re-reroofing work is considered the “most economical way forward” to extend the life and use of the facilities.
The gallery and library are housed in the Municipal Buildings in Calverley Street.
The library building, which is Grade II listed, was built between 1878 and 84 by George Corson. The art gallery extension was built between 1886–88 by W. H. Thorp.
A big renovation completed in June 2007 included the opening up of the Victorian tiled hall, which is now a cafe.
Historic reports say that the Municipal Buildings were created so that the political administration of Leeds could be concentrated in one place, with the Town Hall being next door.
Property design and management firm NPS will oversee the tendering process to find the contractor for the roofing work.