MAJOR renovation work has still not re-started on a crumbling Leeds landmark more than a month after senior councillors said enforcement action could be carried out.
City leaders used the council chamber in early April to urge Mike Smith to get on with major renovation work on the former Mike’s Carpets building within the next month or face enforcement action.
The warning came after the YEP revealed vital restoration work on the gateway Grade II listed building had stalled after the builders walked out on the £650,000 project.
Mr Smith, the owner of the building, yesterday said new contractors have been appointed and work will start this summer.
Mr Smith told the YEP: “We have appointed a new contractor and they are starting in July. The council has approved all this.
“The contract has to be completed by March 2016. The work will commence sometime in July, I would think around July 20.”
Last month’s Full Council meeting at Leeds Civic Hall heard the building’s owner has already been given a large chunk of a £500,000 Lottery heritage grant to get the work started - but no work has seemingly been done.
Armley Labour councillor Jim McKenna told the meeting: “To date the owner has received £118,000 of the grant funding under the terms of the agreement and very little work has been done,
“It’s public money and we are guardians of that public money. The council expects work to recommence on site by May or June. We shall see these dates are adhered to.”
Council chiefs at Leeds yesterday said Mike Smith has submitted a proposal to re-start refurbishment work.
A council spokeswoman said: “The owner of Mike’s Carpet’s, Mr Smith, has submitted a proposal to the council to recommence refurbishment work.
“The council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the joint funding partner in the Armley scheme, are considering that proposal and will make a response shortly.
“We will continue to consider all options, including enforcement action if it is required.”
Businessman Mr Smith still owns the building but now leases it to another firm.