Kirkstall Abbey: Yorkshire residents to be charged £8 to enter historic abbey - but Leeds residents won't

People who live outside of Leeds will be charged £8 to enter Kirkstall Abbey, according to new plans set to be discussed by the city’s council chiefs next week.

A paper on the authority’s finances over the coming years proposes introducing the charge, which it expects will raise around £160,000 a year, while those who can provide a proof of address within Leeds would be allowed free access.

The £8 entry fee would allow anyone who paid the price to return for free over the following 12 months.

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The proposals come despite the attraction sitting only around three miles from the Bradford district.

Kirkstall AbbeyKirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey

Proposals also include relocating the café from Abbey House Museum to the visitor centre at Kirkstall Abbey, which the authority expects will raise an extra £90,000 a year for council coffers.

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The report, set to go before Leeds City Council’s decision-making Executive Board next week, stated: “The café relocation anticipates that turnover will increase as an aspirational café location is created within the Rose Room within the Abbey grounds and overlooking the river.

“The cost of relocation has been considered as part of the capital invest to save business case with some costs supported from Art Council England NPO commercial development funding.

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“The existing café space at Abbey House Museum will be used for functions, events, and school visits, retaining some catering functionality. Detailed estimates for the cost of these changes and consideration of the works are currently being obtained.”

The changes, which were listed as part of the authority’s medium term financial plan, are expected to come into force by April 2022.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will discuss the proposals on Wednesday, December 15.