PLANS are in place to preserve a piece of the Yorkshire Post Newspapers building’s history, the Yorkshire Evening Post can exclusively reveal.
The time and temperature tower bearing the banner of the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, which has stood proud outside the Wellington Street offices for over four decades, is set to be saved from the bulldozers.
Developers have submitted proposals to Leeds Council to keep the structure and give it a £250,000 makeover following the public response to the demolition of the landmark building.
Paul Fox, of Fox Lloyd Jones, the agents acting on behalf of the developer, said: “While the rest of the site will be cleared, the developers have noted the affection people have for the tower and wish to retain it as a landmark.
“Having followed debate and feedback on the subject it is clear the people of Leeds seem to have opposing love/hate relationships with the Yorkshire Post building.
“We have listened to that feedback, which is why we are keen to retain and improve the tower; not only as a landmark, but as a lasting memory of the building.”
Demolition of the offices, opened by Prince Charles in 1970, began earlier this week. The site is set to become a ‘temporary’ 500-space car park with a separate section for public services vehicles, but its long-term future is yet to be decided. The buyer is said to be exploring options.
Tim Waring of Quod, planning advisors to the developer, said: “ Given it is such a high profile site and one of the ‘first impressions’ people get when arriving in Leeds, the car park is an essential temporary measure while the plans for the site’s final redevelopment evolve.
“As such, our plans involve high quality landscaping and a major environmental enhancement, benefitting this part of the city during the period between demolition and redevelopment.”
“Creation of temporary parking and the public realm, and the activity which will come with it, will ensure this part of the Leeds does not stagnate after demolition, while also giving interested parties an excellent opportunity to see the extent and true potential of the site and its riverside frontage.”
Heavy equipment has begun taking down small buildings at the rear of the main structure.
The demolition of the main concrete structure, where the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post were produced for 42 years, will not be taking place for a few weeks. Johnston Press titles are now based at No 1 Leeds on Whitehall Road.