Doubt over future of Leeds heritage centre’s home

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The man behind a celebrated heritage centre, given a temporary home by a Leeds arts charity, claims its future is in “limbo”.

Morley Heritage Centre, based in an empty shop unit in Albion Street, Morley, was set up by Peter Aldred who wanted to put his hoard of local history artefacts collected over 55 years on public display.

The 80-year-old, from Tingley, has been inundated with interested visitors since the centre opened last summer but the building’s private owner has the option to give two weeks’ notice for tenants to leave at any point.

Having seen several potential tenants guided around the shop in recent weeks, Peter is hoping a long-term home for his collection can be found soon.

He YEP: “I feel very much in limbo but I’m sure it will stay open in one way or another – we will keep it running.

“At my age, I’m nearly 81, and I wanted to take a back seat and let them carry it on. I’ve done what I set out to do.”

He said the legacy of his collection looks more likely to continue after he and other local historians formed an official committee with help from Ed Balls, Morley and Outwood MP.

His collection, picked up from friends and businesses over the years, features over 2,000 historical photographs and 100 artefacts covering the old Morley Borough’s mining, industrial and social heritage.

The East Street Arts (ESA) charity let out the centre’s current Morley unit to Peter for a nominal rate through its In Situ scheme, which offers creatives temporary space for projects.

Adelle Stripe, from ESA, said the charity has signed a lease on another Morley property that could house Peter if necessary.

She said: “Whatever happens there will be a home for Peter and Morley Heritage Centre.”

The charity hopes to unveil plans later this month to help secure the centre’s future and find it a permanent home.

Leeds, Sweet street, 28th March 1979'LIGHTING'Mr. Eddie Mullan, a lift engineer at the City of Leeds Public Works Department, Sweet Street, gives a last polish to one of the four old gas lamps that are to be sent to Germany.

Leeds nostalgia: Bits of old Leeds sent to Germany... in 1979