The Tetley: planning application submitted for iconic Leeds site featuring basement ‘speakeasy’

Vastint UK, the developer behind Aire Park, the 24-acre mixed-use district on Leeds’ South Bank, has submitted its planning application for the future of the iconic Tetley building.

Developers say the proposals will not only ‘guarantee the future’ of the 92-year-old building but also increase the building’s accessibility so that it can be “used by all”, include the retention of the art deco façade and opening up of new areas to the public for the first time.

Plans show that the basement, which previously connected the building with the wider brewery site, will be used as a speakeasy lounge/bar, whilst the ground floor features a market hall space and amenities including Changing Places facilities. The developer then looks to continue The Tetley’s long-standing connection with both culture and commerce through the upper floors which include areas earmarked for event space and 13,000 sq ft of office accommodation.

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Simon Schofield, head of development North at Vastint UK, said: “The Tetley is an iconic building within Leeds, and we’re privileged to have it as a cornerstone of the Aire Park development. As custodians of this important piece of the city’s history, we have been working hard with our architects Supervene and Enjoy Design, Leeds City Council and others to look at how we preserve this beautiful building, ensuring it remains at the heart of the community for another century.

Developers say the proposals will ‘guarantee the future’ of the 92-year-old building.Developers say the proposals will ‘guarantee the future’ of the 92-year-old building.
Developers say the proposals will ‘guarantee the future’ of the 92-year-old building.

“Our plans aim to create a variety of spaces within the building including public amenities such as a Changing Places facility, food and drink opportunities and event spaces, which will be accessible to all. We also want to continue the building’s history of being a place of business, by creating new office space.

“Ultimately this project is unique in its scope, as it not only adds to the wider development but also ensures a major landmark continues to play an active role in the future of Leeds. We’d like to think that Joshua Tetley would be impressed by the ambition we have for the site he purchased for £402 in 1822 and grew to be the largest brewery in the North of England.”

Alongside the application, a selection of new images has been shared, revealing a roof terrace and details of the proposed extension to the eastern façade of the building.

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Vastint UK acquired the Tetley Building from Carlsberg in 2022 and since then has been working on its plans to make the iconic landmark the “crown jewel” and focal point for Aire Park, Leeds’ newest mixed-use district, which includes a new 3.5-hectare city centre green park, up to 1,400 news homes and 800,000 sq ft of office space. As part of the fimr’s commitment to safeguarding The Tetley, the developer recently partnered with Kirkstall Brewery to reopen the building to the public whilst planning approval is sought from the council.

Wesley Dodds, director at Enjoy Design, said: “The recent partnership between Vastint UK and Kirkstall Brewery has provided a glimpse of what the future holds for The Tetley. The building has evolved constantly over its almost one-hundred-year history and we’re very proud to be a part of the next evolution of Leeds’ beloved Tetley.”

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