Kirkstall: Abbey Mills campaigners plan next step of takeover


What would you like to see at Abbey Mills?

That’s the question campaigners hoping to take over crumbling Abbey Mills are asking as they plan the next step of their fight at a meeting next week.

Members of the Kirkstall Valley Development Trust raised £47,000 through a community share issue to put together an initial business plan to transform historic Abbey Mills for community and work use.

But, as reported last month, a bid to Heritage Lottery for £85,000 to pay for architectural and surveyor fees, project management and marketing was turned down as being too high risk by funders.

Chris Hill, one of the people behind the Trust, writes:

We agreed at the shareholders meeting last month to begin preparing for partial occupation of the mill. If the Council finish their market testing of the mill over the next few weeks, we will be asking for that to happen in the autumn.

The obvious place to start is the eastern block by the Kirkstall Road entrance, opposite the Leisure Centre. It is in reasonable condition and we could start to assemble useable rooms.

What should we do with them? What facilities can we offer? What work needs to be done? Who can do it and how do we pay for it? How do we lay the basis of what we want to achieve over the coming years? What’s the best way to start work on the Sustainability Centre?

It’s exciting stuff and I hope you will come along to contribute your ideas.

Alongside the meeting, we are taking written suggestions. Over 50 of you have already responded – thank you. Hopefully more of you can complete this form.

A planning meeting will discuss how the Trust can start to use and pay for parts of the mill. The session will be guided by Irena Bauman of Bauman Lyons architects on Tuesday, 20th June, at 7.30pm in New Burley Club, Burley Hill Drive.


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