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.
A bid is being submitted to Homes England to pay for the preparatory work to create a low car use social housing scheme across the rest of the site and we are working with Accent Housing to bring that forward. It is important for us that the development is resident led and we are forming 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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