Heritage expert’s positive message after survey highlights ‘at risk’ listed buildings in Leeds

An image of how the Majestic will look after its redevelopment.
An image of how the Majestic will look after its redevelopment.
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The future is looking increasingly bright for Leeds’s architectural “crown jewels” and the important connection they provide to the city’s proud past.

That was the message today from Martin Hamilton, director of the Leeds Civic Trust heritage watchdog, after a new survey found that a total of 120 listed buildings in the city are classed as being at risk from neglect and decay.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the figure represents nearly five per cent of all the listed buildings in Leeds and shows a net increase of 23 on the results of a similar survey conducted last year.

But, as Mr Hamilton points out, work is already under way to restore some of the most prominent sites on the ‘at risk’ register to their former glories.

They include the Majestic building on City Square, which is currently being turned into a high-class office complex.

A total of 11 sites have also been removed from the register over the last year, including the former York Road public baths and library in Burmantofts, which is due to reopen as a gym and fitness centre in October.

The survey of more than 2,000 listed buildings was carried out by Leeds Civic Trust with the help of a dedicated team of 40 volunteers.

A report on their findings is set to be considered by a Leeds City Council plans panel today.

Mr Hamilton said: “Our crown jewels – for example Temple Works and First White Cloth Hall – rightly receive a lot of attention and there is some good news on these important buildings.”

He also warned, however, that the city cannot afford to rest on its laurels, saying: “Our work has highlighted less celebrated buildings and assets – from barns in Harewood to gas lamp posts in Briggate – that also make a contribution to our city and need to be protected for future generations.”