Sadness over demolition of former Leeds youth centre

DEMOLISHED: The former Gildersome Youth Centre site.
DEMOLISHED: The former Gildersome Youth Centre site.
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A councillor has spoken of his sadness over the demolition of a former youth centre in south Leeds.

Coun Thomas Leadley (Morley North) said the village was losing a building of “both historical and architectural value” in the former Gildersome Youth Centre.

The centre, which he said is already “substantially demolished”, was used by youth and community groups but was closed in 2016 over health and safety concerns.

Riva Homes had plans to knock down the building approved in January.

And last month the company submitted an application for six houses to be built in its place. Coun Leadley said: “Although structurally sound, it would have cost more to refurbish than could have been justified by its level of it was put up for sale.”

He added: “Last August, there was a consultation with ward councillors and I said I had no objection for it to be sold so long as it was kept for conversion rather than being demolished.”

Coun Leadley said research suggests the centre, a former school, was designed by architect John Simpson, who worked as a personal assistant to Leeds Town Hall architect Cuthbert Brodrick in the 1850s and 1860s.

“It is quite obviously a building with some historical and architectural value,” he said:

“It’s sad that we are losing a really good quality Victorian building, built in 1873.”

Community groups that used the youth centre on Street Lane, agreed a move to the Meeting Hall on Town Street last year.

A report published by Leeds City Council’s chief officer, in relation to the demolition application, said the building was “an old, stone built, traditional school building.”

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