The Tetley Leeds: Next steps for landmark former brewery headquarters as arts charity's lease comes to an end
Vastint UK, owner of The Tetley, is in the process of developing the surrounding site, with grand ambitions for Aire Park as part of the regeneration of Leeds' South Bank.
A spokesman said the company has worked closely with its charitable tenant since it bought the building last year, with "regular conversations" about its plans for refurbishment.
This, the spokesman stressed, was to "ensure that it can continue its role as a focal point for community and cultural activities in Leeds".
The building sits at the "heart" of its masterplan for the area, they added, outlining that all proposals for the building will "ensure it continues to offer public amenities for both residents and visitors to Leeds to enjoy once it reopens."
Tetley's Brewery, first founded by Joshua Tetley in Hunslet in 1822, grew to become the biggest in the North of England and at its height employed some 1,000 people.
But in 1998 Tetley was taken over by Carlsberg Group, with the Leeds brewery demolished in 2012 as production moved elsewhere. Project Space Leeds (PSL) took over in 2013, since welcoming more than a million visitors to exhibitions and community events.
As it announced the move last week, with plans for a new home to be revealed soon, there was concern about the building's future. Leeds Liberal Democrat group also expressed its "profound disappointment" at the closure of the gallery, which it described as a "beloved cultural institution" which had stood as a “beacon of creativity” in the city for the past decade.
The full statement from Vastint UK said: “We have worked closely with the PSL team since we acquired the Tetley Building in 2022. Over this period we have had regular conversations about our plans to refurbish the building to ensure that it can continue its role as a focal point for community and cultural activities in Leeds.
“PSL’s initial lease expired in November 2022 and we actively worked with them to offer our support including a free lease extension until March 2024. They have since informed us of their decision to leave in December 2023.
"Moving forward, we plan to deliver the necessary repairs and modernisation in order to secure the longevity of the building, whilst retaining the original historic features. During these works the building will be uninhabitable and therefore will be closed to the public.
“We’d like to thank PSL and everyone involved for the unbelievable work they’ve done over the last decade and look forward to sharing our plans in the future.”