'Urgent' £1m works needed to fix leaking Leeds Playhouse roof

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Senior Leeds City Council chiefs are expected to approve more than £1m to urgently fix the roof of one of the city's most beloved theares.

Despite renovation work only finishing two and a half years ago, the Leeds Playhouse now needs an extra £1.09m to fix the roof, as officers warn the roof has "deteriorated further", with water getting into several parts of the building.

The council-owned Leeds Playhouse re-opened in September 2019 following a major refurbishment, which changed the structure and layout of the building.

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Major roof works are needed on Leeds Playhouse, a report has said.Major roof works are needed on Leeds Playhouse, a report has said.
Major roof works are needed on Leeds Playhouse, a report has said.

During the works, "budget pressures" were caused by the discoveries of problems with the building and human remains on site, which led officers to review the funding of the project. It was decided to put back the roof works to a later date, and instead undertake a "patch and repair" programme to keep the roof safe for the time being.

However, the report states: "Whilst the work undertaken improved watertightness to a degree, it was never considered to be a long-term solution. Since completion of the refurbishment project, it is evident that the roof of the building has deteriorated further, with water ingress in various areas of the building a regular occurrence."

The report added that the work would address "areas of urgent priority", including the building’s main flat roof area; the mansard slate roof area; rooflight replacement and repairs and mechanical and electrical works associated with the roof works.

It added that the Playhouse was currently bidding for extra funds to work on other, less pressing issues with the roof.

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Although the council will be paying for the works initially, the report claims the Playhouse has secured funding for the full cost of the works from its own reserves and charity grant funding, which it plans to pass on to the council in full.

A decision is expected on the plans on Monday, April 11. If approved, work is expected to start in early May 2022, and be completed at some time in the autumn.