Mabgate development: Leeds residents invited to have their say on future of the up-and-coming neighbourhood

People in Leeds are being asked to make their voices heard and shape the future of the Mabgate neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 11:34 am

Leeds City Council is is planning to co-produce a regeneration framework that will lay out an action plan for the future of Mabgate.

This will be produced alongside the local community, landowners, existing businesses and all other interested parties.

As part of the framework project, the council is encouraging people and organisations with an interest in Mabgate to share their thoughts and aspirations for the area.

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1989 photo of Mabgate Mills, at the junction of Mabgate and Lincoln Green Road. Credit: Leeds Library & Information Service.

Views can be submitted via the Your Voice online engagement platform but online and in-person engagement events are also being planned.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Mabgate is a vibrant, fascinating community with a can-do spirit that embodies some of the finest qualities of the city of Leeds as a whole.

“As the city centre grows, we want to make sure the area’s independent arts scene continues to thrive for many, many years to come. That is why we are in the process of planning this new regeneration framework, which will play a vital role in shaping a Mabgate that showcases the very best of our creative industries.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “The growth we see – not just in Mabgate but across the entire city – has to be inclusive and compassionate, delivering enhanced access to jobs, training and education for all local people.

Hope Foundry, a Grade II-listed former brass and iron works in Mabgate.

“As we look ahead to a bright future for the area, we want to gather as many thoughts and ideas as ­­possible to ensure Mabgate is a place where people get the opportunities and support they need to make the most of their talents, skills and potential.”

Mabgate’s storied past as an industrial powerhouse of the 19th and early 20th centuries has left a lasting legacy in the shape of its many historic buildings, including Smithfield House, which dates back to the 1840s, and Hope Foundry, a stunning Grade II-listed former brass and iron works.

In recent years been transformed into a rich and diverse community with a vibrant independent arts scene.

It was named as one of the UK’s coolest neighbourhoods by Condé Nast Traveller magazine in 2020, and hailed as an “under-the-radar zone with art at its core”.

Mabgate Annual 2019, artist-led community gala. Credit: Emma Hardaker and photographer Danny Marsh.

Local success stories include the Centre for Live Art Yorkshire as well as East Street Arts spaces such as Patrick Studios, Convention House and the Art Hostel.

Mabgate also provides a crucial physical link to Leeds city centre for the communities of Lincoln Green and Burmantofts.

Its range of sustainable brownfield sites meaning a number of landowners are proactively exploring possible development opportunities across the area, including proposals for a new Leeds City College campus.

Key topics that will be explored during the creation of the framework include delivering improved connections to Lincoln Green and Burmantofts, the local response to the climate emergency and the provision of new public spaces and walking and cycling routes that will help make Mabgate a more attractive and accessible place for people of all ages.

Another important consideration will be ensuring that arts and culture continue to thrive as new investment finds its way to the area.

Helen Moore, East Street Arts’ engagement lead, said: “At East Street Arts we are committed to being a good neighbour to the other residents and businesses in Mabgate, Lincoln Green and Burmantofts.

"We have been fortunate enough to be involved in the first-ever arts and culture-led neighbourhood plan for this area, and bringing together a brilliant forum. We look forward to seeing the progression of the framework and how this will benefit the community.”

To join the conversation about Mabgate and the framework project, visit www.yourvoice.leeds.gov.uk/mabgate-regen.

Paper copies of a survey will be made available at Burmantofts Community Hub (Rigton Lawn), Merrion House Hub (Merrion Way), Kirkgate Community Hub & Library (Unit 280-82 in Leeds Kirkgate Market), One Community Centre (Cromwell Street in Lincoln Green) and Patrick Studios (St Mary’s Lane in Mabgate).

To find out more about the project or talk to someone on the team, head to Kirkgate Community Hub & Library on August 10 (midday to 2pm), August 12 (2pm to 4pm), August 14 (10am to midday), September 10 (9am to 11am), September 11 (11am to 1pm) or September 13 (10am to midday).