Expert tips on rescuing Leeds’ heritage buildings

Temple Works in Leeds
Temple Works in Leeds
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A major conference will take place later this month to guide communities on ways to rescue heritage buildings they love.

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is hosting its BRICK conference - Building Resources, Investment and Community Knowledge - at The Carriageworks on September 23.

It aims to provide world-class advice and practical help on finding viable ways of restoring heritage buildings.

Among the guest speakers will be Susan Williamson, director of the cultural project Temple.Works.Leeds.

The historic Temple Works in Holbeck is a Victorian former flax mill, built between 1836 and 1840, with a facade modelled on the Temple of Horus at Edfu in Egypt. Now privately owned, the Grade One-listed building - which is still being restored - is used as a mixed-media cultural venue and has 65 artists in residence. Susan said the cultural project is entirely revenue-based - relying on staging events and its popularity as a location for film or photography shoots.

Her advice for communities would be to first establish who would use the space. She said: “Find out where funding will come from and what people want to do with the place and put it together to make something meaningful.”

Also speaking will be Richard Norton, secretary for Headingley Development Trust, an organisation of residents and small businesses which aims to take control of the suburb and explore ways for it thrive. The conference will feature a video message from The Prince of Wales and a closing speech by Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, about the importance of authorities in helping to bring heritage buildings back into community use, and the challenges they face.

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Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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