Historic archives could help breathe new life into Pudsey Town Hall

Pudsey Town Hall. Photo: Google

By John Baron

Pudsey Town Hall is set for a new lease of life with a local voluntary organisation on the verge of moving into the historic building, much of which sits empty.

The civic floor of the Town Hall is set to be taken on by Pudsey and District Civic Society to house their archives of Pudsey’s history, which are currently based in Pudsey Community Hub and Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley.

The society, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has agreed in principle to move into the building, subject to the final contract bring signed and the move being officially signed off by Leeds City Council, which owns the building.

The society is a voluntary organisation tasked to further the past, present and future interests of the borough of Pudsey and its environment. 

Society chair Dave Richards told WLD that while the move was still at an ’embryonic’ stage, he was hopeful of the contract being concluded so the organisation could take over the floor which houses the former Pudsey Town Council chambers.

“In our 50th year, we are grateful to Leeds City Council for letting us use Pudsey Town Hall to store our archives and records,” added Mr Richards.

The former council chamber in Pudsey Town Hall, which was used by Pudsey Town Council until local government reorganisation led to the council being disbanded in 1974.

The Civic Society has been given a licence to occupy the Town Hall, subject to a contract being finalised.

Councillor Trish Smith (Cons, Pudsey) welcomed the move as a “positive first step” in ongoing work to find a sustainable future for the Town Hall.

“I have been working closely with council officers and members of the council’s executive board on future options for the Town Hall, so it’s fantastic to see the Civic Society say they want to make it their new home,” she said.

“It would be the first time in the Society’s history that they would have a dedicated base, and it couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, with this year being their 50th anniversary.

“I wish the Civic Society well, hope that the details will be finalised shortly, and that we can start to see the Town Hall come to life again. I will continue to work on finding options for the Town Hall’s future so that it can continue to be a valuable part of our local community.” 

The Society’s name was changed in recent years to include ‘district’ as knowledge of the old borough, (Calverley, Farsley, Rodley, Stanningley, Fulneck and parts of Tyersal), fades.

The foundation stone for Pudsey Town Hall was laid by the former chairman of the local board, William Dibb Scales of Grove House, on 6 October 1879.

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