The development of Kirkstall Valley Park is starting with Abbey Mills.
Abbey Mills is a 30,000 sq. ft. Grade II listed mill that lies just south of Grade I listed Kirkstall Abbey and is owned by Leeds City Council.
The Abbey Mills complex consists of a number of mill buildings dating back to the early 16th Century. The mills were rebuilt after a fire in 1797 and by 1847 most of the present buildings were in existence producing corn, oil and woolen cloth.
During early 2017 we successfully raised £40,000 in community shares to provide development cash for Abbey Mills. Since then we have also raised £25,000 from Heritage Lottery and the Architectural Heritage Fund to work up our plans.
Our intention is to create a community hub and heritage centre alongside social housing. A full business plan exists for the community hub and we are in discussion with the Council about terms of an asset transfer.
Homes England have awarded us £177k and Power to Change £44k (June 19), for the preparatory work to create a low car use social housing scheme across the rest of the site. It is important for us that the development is resident led and we have formed a housing group to drive the work. We’re particularly keen to involve people who may want to live in Abbey Mills.
The deal with the Council has been delayed because of a disagreement whether a new access road into the mill is needed (council officers – yes, councillors and community, no).
Once this is resolved, a report should go to the Executive Board of the Council agreeing the terms of any transfer to the Trust and what tendering (if any) will be required.
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