A healthy future for Leeds gateway building


WORK is starting on the restoration and transformation of the former York Road Library, which is a well-known landmark building close to Leeds City Centre, into a state-of-the-art gym and fitness centre.

Leeds based property company Rushbond has appointed local contractor The Broadley Group to restore the Grade II listed building, as well as adding a new contemporary extension, to provide a stunning new facility for The Gym Group, one of the UK’s largest operators of low-cost gyms.  The building was designed by architects H.A. Chapman for Leeds City Council and originally opened in 1903.

Once complete, it will provide 16,000 square feet of studio space, weight rooms and a full suite of fitness equipment.

Mark Finch, Director at Rushbond: “This is a very special and historic building that was a hugely popular community facility for many decades. It is still talked about fondly and it’s great news that a sustainable end-use has been secured for this local treasure, a use which is also true it’s history, once again contributing to the health and wellbeing of the local community.

 “The iconic features such as the turret, clock and the 'Leeds owl' mosaic in the old entrance hall are all to be restored –all supporting its landmark status on a key route into the City Centre.”

Councillor Judith Blake commented: “It is fantastic news that a programme of restoration and refurbishment work has been started by Rushbond on the Grade II listed building of the former York Road Library.

“While the building will be brought very much into the 21st century by becoming the home of a new gym, it is pleasing that Rushbond have also pledged to ensure that its historical past will not be forgotten by restoring a variety of its iconic features.”

Scott Lemm, General Manager at The Gym Group’s current Leeds site within The Core on The Headrow, says: “We were delighted with Rushbond's imaginative and exciting use of this great Heritage Icon. This building provides the foundation for what will be a truly individual and inspirational gym and fitness centre.  Our vision is to provide affordable access to exercise facilities for everyone who wants to improve their wellbeing. We are very much looking forward to working with the local community and adding this great asset to our growing collection of gyms nationwide.”

Gary Broadley, Chairman from The Broadley Group says: “This is a superb project for us to be involved with. We are a growing Leeds based company that is very proud of this great City and we are pleased to be working with Rushbond on the transformation of such a high profile landmark building.”

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