Crossgates Library: Old library building one of five Leeds council properties to be sold
A former library is one of five Leeds Council buildings set to be sold, as the cash-strapped local authority looks to rake in much needed cash.
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The old Crossgates Library, on Farm Road in the east Leeds suburb, is set to be transferred to the private sector, with plans to turn it into a boxing club having received local support.
The area’s library services were moved across to Crossgates Shopping Centre in February 2022 in what was supposed to have been a temporary move.
But plans to refurbish the old venue into a thriving community hub and modern library have fallen flat and the building has become a target for anti-social behaviour, a council report has said.
Leeds’ most senior councillors agreed to “accelerate” efforts to sell the property at a meeting on Wednesday along with four others.
Broom Hill Family Centre in Harehills and Adams Court in Beeston, as well as public properties on Foxcroft Close in Kirkstall and Lavender Walk in East End Park, are also set to be let go.
All are currently used by the children’s services department, with the council saying all staff will be relocated.
A sixth building, Lincoln Fields Centre in Burmantofts, will be demolished to make way for redevelopment.
Commenting at a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday, the council’s deputy leader, Debra Coupar said the sales were necessary to try to ease the local authority’s financial predicament.
“This is one of the ways we’re proposing we can raise some capital to help with that situation,” she said.
The council has overshot it’s budget by £30m already this year, with government cutbacks and spiralling bills in children’s social care blamed for the bleak picture.
Up to 750 jobs could also be cut within the authority over the next 18 months.
The council’s Opposition Conservative leader, Alan Lamb, backed the proposals to sell off the properties.
“I think these are things we should have been doing anyway,” he said.” Let’s get on with it and get the capital receipts in.
“When they’re surplus to requirements, let’s move them on and given the changing (financial landscape) let’s get on with it.”
A further four council assets, including two city centre car parks, could also be in line for a future firesale, with the local authority saying it will “explore” the prospect of moving them on.
Swinegate Car Park and Harper Street Car Park could be sold, along with St George House on Great George Street and a council office at Thorpe Park.