New lease of life for ‘eyesore’ pub in Leeds

The former Squinting Cat pub in Swarcliffe. PIC: Steve Riding
The former Squinting Cat pub in Swarcliffe. PIC: Steve Riding
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Councillors in are celebrating now that work is under way to turn a derelict Leeds pub into affordable new homes.

The former Squinting Cat site will now be transformed into six one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments.

The former pub was closed for several years and became a magnet for antisocial behaviour before a blaze broke out in 2013, destroying a large portion of the building.


Councillor Pauleen Grahame (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor) said: “What once was an eyesore, left empty and then ravaged by fire, will now be a wonderful example of new affordable homes in Swarcliffe.

“This has only come about due to commitment of the local community to see a positive use for this site.

“It’s great that development is now taking place and I can’t wait for it to open!”

The aim of the new scheme is to provide high quality accommodation, with the needs of older people central to the designs.

Work is expected to be completed by late Summer 2016.

Councillor Peter Gruen (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor) said: “These homes will be rising from the ashes of the Squinting Cat, putting something really needed at the heart of the community in Swarcliffe.”

He added: “Getting to this point has taken years of hard work from right across the community.

“We know that people need high quality affordable accommodation in the ward and this development will mean people do not have to move out of the area they call home.”

The YEP previously reported that Leeds City Council were poised to award a near-£2m contract to building firm Britcon for the construction of the new apartments.

The site was previously on Leeds City Council’s list of derelict and nuisance properties and in 2013, planning officials said the “blight on the area” should be pulled down.