Historic Leeds town hall could be handed over to community

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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A historic town hall could be handed over to a community group to ensure its future for theatre shows and events.

Leeds City Council’s executive board is expected to agree to hand over the running of the Grade II-listed Yeadon Town Hall to Yeadon Town Hall Community Interest Company (CIC), when it meets on Wednesday.

It is hoped the new company can keep the existing community facilities while increasing use of the theatre and delivering its own stage productions.

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A report going before the board claims the building cost just over £100,000 to run last year, but only generated an income of £31,697.

The report stated: “The CIC’s proposal is to retain the existing community facilities whilst developing a sustainable community theatre that will not rely on external funding or subsidies from other sources to provide a year-round offering of music, dance, theatre and community film in the auditorium while retaining the community use throughout the building.

“The CIC will be responsible for day to day management of the building, programming of events, marketing, lettings and administration.”

A peppercorn rent would be paid to the council by the company in order to use the building, under a 30 year lease.

Yeadon councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem) said it was important to have local people running the building.

“The council has not been able to invest in the building because it loses them money – so something had to give,” he said.

“This is a long lease, and the council still own the building. So everyone is a winner.”