Plans revealed for Leeds mill site

Abbey Mills.
Abbey Mills.
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A sixteenth century mill in Leeds which is being eyed for use as a community education centre could be turned into a wedding venue or flats.

Kirkstall Valley Development Trust (KVDT) has revealed that eight business have expressed interest in Grade II-listed Abbey Mills following a “soft marketing” exercise by Leeds City Council which finished last week.

Four of the parties have been in touch with KVDT to discuss their plans, with three wanting to build homes and the fourth eyeing the site as a wedding venue.

KVDT was granted £25,000 of Heritage Lottery funds earlier this year as part of its plan to create a “community hub” and cafe in Kirkstall.

Supporters of the KVDT were told in an email newsletter that “at least one of the developers” would support the trust in developing the community block along Abbey Road and the land to the south of it.

It went on: “We would like to spend the next few weeks creating a partnership with the most suitable developer, introducing them to Trust members and making our case to the Council.”

The group also wants to work on the council-owned St Ann’s Mill, which is also in Kirkstall, to create a centre for sustainability.

Discussions have taken place with more than 60 lecturers at the University of Leeds involved in research in energy, cities, food, water, climate change and buildings.

Students from Leeds Beckett University have worked on the site, coming up with solutions to the buildings and flooding.

Ahead of the lottery cash boost, the Trust had raised the £40,000 for the project – with 155 people including five community associations on board.