Leeds: West Park Centre’s electrics may cost up to £600,000 to fix

CLOSURE: West Park Centre, Leeds.
CLOSURE: West Park Centre, Leeds.
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Replacing the aging electrical system at the West Park Centre in Leeds could cost as much as £600,000, councillors have been told.

Asbestos works needed will also cost a six-figure sum, Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development, told a meeting of the full council.

The centre on Spen Lane, which is used by many music groups and community organisations, closed suddenly two weeks ago when an inspection found the electrics were unsafe.

The day after the closure decision, an event attended by 200 people including the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Ann Castle, was held in the centre.

As reported in yesterday’s YEP, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has now lodged a Freedom of Information (FoI) request for more details about the closure, which has sparked fears about the centre’s long-term future.

Campaigner Sarah Carmody said she was “bemused” about why the event was allowed to go ahead when the building had been declared unsafe.

Coun Lewis said that an officer had made the wrong decision and the event held following the closure decision should not have gone ahead. He apologised to Coun Castle.

He said: “I visited the centre and was shocked at the state of the electrics.

“I have not seen anything like it in a council establishment.

“In my view the building is unsafe for users and we have done the right thing in closing it.”

On the building’s long-term future, Coun Lewis said whatever happened at the centre would have to fit in with the city’s other priorities.

He added he was concerned about the groups that used the centre and their needs would be discussed once it was clear what the options were.

Coun Alan Lamb (Cons, Wetherby), said he had received an email from a senior officer saying it had been the intention for sometime to “rationalise” the usage and vacate the building.

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