Kirkstall Brewery residences: Care leavers and homeless families plan moves closer to reality

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The former Kirkstall Brewery buildings.

Plans to transform empty student halls of residences in Kirkstall into accommodation for care leavers and homeless families have moved a step closer to reality.

According to recently released council documents, council chiefs have agreed to lease four blocks of currently vacant student accommodation at the former Kirkstall Brewery site, off Broad Lane, to provide temporary accommodation for young adult care leavers currently in education or training and homeless families.

The cash-strapped council says its net savings due to the scheme are expected to be £1.5m in 24/25 and £2.2m in 25/26.

A planning application is required for change of use for two blocks for the housing customers’ use and will be submitted jointly by the Council and the owner to ensure that the accommodation can be utilised to an appropriate capacity. The council plans to enter a 10-year lease at the site.

WLD first covered the proposals in March.

The full council report can be read here.

The brewery complex was originally closed in 1983, bringing to an end a 150-year tradition of brewing in the buildings. The site stood empty and unused until it the late 1990s when it became Kirkstall Brewery Student Village, part of Leeds Metropolitan University (Leeds Beckett University, as it’s now known). The conversion was carried out by Bowman Riley Architects.

The complex had been put up for sale in 2021. It features 828 student beds across 16 buildings, but its occupancy has steadily decreased as more students make use of city centre accommodation.

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