Look Up Leeds: Printer makes his stamp in Hunslet

HISTORY: The Printworks building has stood the test of time and now forms Leeds City College.
HISTORY: The Printworks building has stood the test of time and now forms Leeds City College.
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You could probably draw a straight line on a piece of paper such is the layout of Leeds City College.

Rows and rows of asymmetrical, paired windows, decorative arches, turrets, stone and brick make up the various wings of this imposingly solid Victorian building.

Before the college opened in 2013 it was The Printworks and dates back to 1881.

Alf Cooke (1842–1902) moved his printing operation to Hunslet in the early 1870s and it was two fires at previous sites that led him to re-build on the current Hunslet Road site. The existing building was built in 1895 and designed by Thomas Ambler, the man behind many of the city’s buildings from this time. It was described in The British and Colonial Printer as “the largest, cleanest, healthiest and most completely fitted Printing works in the World”. They closed in 2006 and remained derelict until acquired by the college for a £25m redevelopment.