£1 million has been donated by the government towards the restoration project.
Temple Works is expected to push ahead with plans to restore its huge mill space as part of the British Library North project after further government investment.
Since 2009, one of Leeds’ most historically significant mills has stood derelict, awaiting a much-needed restoration. After being purchased by property company CEG in 2017 for just £1, the mill has since felt the rise and fall of potential investment over the past five years.
In need of urgent repairs to return the former flax mill into a heritage rich site, over £1 million has now been donated to allow Temple Works to transform into the home of the Northern British Library.
The Grade I listed building has already received £25m of devolution money, secured by the council to support the project. According to reporting by Leeds Live, the money is held by the West Yorkshire authority. It is expected the council will draw around £5m to cover the costs of a full restoration by development partner CEG.
Previously Leeds City Council Leader, James Lewis has shown his enthusiasm for the project:
“These plans for Temple Works reflect both a sense of pride in Leeds’s past and a real determination to forge a future that benefits people in all our local communities. Temple Works is a jewel in Leeds’s heritage crown and the prospect of seeing it start a new chapter as the home of the British Library in the North is hugely exciting.”
The sum of money was donated as part of a Culture Recovery Fund grant, which will allow plans to continue with the restoration project of one of Leeds’ largest mills. £636,000 has come from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to go towards the roof and a further £400,000 has been donated to subsidise the costs of restoring the Counting House and its well-known Egyptian facade by Historic England’s Yorkshire regional ‘pot’. This will allow the rooms to become a showcase area for the British Library plans.
What was once hinted to be taken over by the likes of Burberry, Temple Works’ fate has been hanging in the balance for quite some time. The designer brand pulled out of any potential deals back in 2018 and the company has since sold the 10 acres of land that they owned.
The building has finally began to secure funding from various heritage funds and £5 million from Leeds City Council. It is hoped that the project can now begin to come to life and the former flax mill can be restored into a historical place of significance for the public to view once more.
More information is expected to follow in the coming months about this exciting new project.
Feature Image- The British Library