Leeds arts hub on former Tetley site gets £190k ‘cash advance’ from council

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A FLAGSHIP arts centre that is seen as a catalyst for major regeneration in the so-called ‘South Bank’ of Leeds has been given an effective 10-year advance on its council grant funding to help complete its vision.

Project Space Leeds, which has developed The Tetley, a visual arts hub on the Tetley Carlsberg site, is to receive £190,000 to create specialist learning spaces within the building.

The centre has signed a 10-year lease with Carlsberg UK, the owners of the site, who have already contributed almost £1m for the refurbishment of the building. However with further capital costs of almost £600,000, the organisation needed to plug a £190,000 gap. It has already secured a £180,000 capital grant from Arts Council England and a loan of £220,000 from Carlsberg UK.

A new report to the council, which has just been approved, says: “The provision of funding to Project Space Leeds would aid the completion of the Tetley gallery and...bring cultural provision nearer the most disadvantaged areas in Leeds together with regenerating an area of the city centre which would benefit from increased footfall. With the refurbishment of their base at The Tetley, PSL will provide the city with its first independent contemporary arts centre.”

The YEP understands the money comes from a larger pot of grant funding set aside for arts projects and will not adversely impact on other possible future bidders. The report says the advance funding will be repaid by reducing the existing planned annual revenue grant to PSL. However it is acknowledged there is some risk because there is no way of predicting future financial viability of the project over the 10 years of the lease.

A Leeds city council spokesperson said: “The Tetley forms an early part of a major regeneration in the South Bank of the city, and will act as a catalyst for other developments in this area.” Pippa Hale, co-director of Project Space Leeds, said progress was “absolutely fine” and she stressed all the funders were providing vital help in helping complete the work.

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