Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is a community benefit society set up in 2016 to develop a learning and leisure park over 200 acres of inner Leeds and to refurbish Abbey Mills for housing and community use


Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is one of Leeds most ambitious community driven projects.

We set up a Trust, owned and run by its members, in 2016. We are working with Leeds City Council, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, the Centre for Alternative Technology and local community groups to create:

  • A Sustainability Demonstrator teaching practical and high level skills for sustainable living, focusing on water, energy, food and housing.
  • Environmental education particularly aimed at young people
  • Energy, growing and nature projects
  • On site power sourced from the river and solar panels
  • New parkland and wildlife areas
  • Improved access, with cycle and walk ways
  • Two refurbished heritage mills
  • Workspace for sympathetic small businesses
  • Social housing and flexible community space
  • A public café / bar, events and exhibition space


The aspiration to create a new Kirkstall Valley Park and linked green spaces down the river Aire has been around for many years, fostered by the Kirkstall Valley Park Board, but to date the space south of the Kirkstall Bridge shopping Centre remains largely inaccessible and underused.

We want to protect that green space, but open it up for people to enjoy. At the same time, we want to bring the semi derelict Abbey Mills (LS5 3HP) into use as a community hub and social housing and to turn the St Anns mill industrial site (LS5 3AE) into an educational and visitor centre based on creating cities for the future (see separate tabs)

Fulfilling the vision of a Valley Park is probably a 20-year project, but refurbishment of the mills is the obvious place to start and we’re doing just that at Abbey Mills. By mid 2019 we hope to have agreed a development plan with the City Council, and over the next two years we will develop the business plan for Sustain at St Anns.

At the same time we hope to take the lease on Burley Mills farmland (LS4 2DD), to develop a community supported agriculture business, surrounded by social and educational projects.

The Abbey Mills complex


Above – Kirkstall Valley Park site, reaching from Morrisons / St Anns Mill in the north west, following Kirkstall Rd to Redcote Lane and the retail park in the south east


Above – St Anns Mill

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