Pennine Castings: What does future hold for disused Armley factory?


An Armley councillor is asking for ideas on how a dangerous derelict factory site could be put to better use.

Councillor Alice Smart visited Pennine Castings earlier this week to see the condition of the disused factory. The site recently made headlines when a 12-year-old boy was seriously injured after a fall inside the building.

Police have liaised with the Health and Safety Executive over the incident and the premises have now been secured. It’s understood the owner of the site has agreed to co-operate with Leeds City Council in maintaining the security of the building until a permanent solution can be found.

But what IS the solution?

Cllr Smart has said she will be working with council officers to find a long-term plan for the site that benefits the local community. Concerns about the security and safety of the site have been raised locally, with one resident describing the building as a ‘death trap’. Cllr Smart said: 

“There are a number of problems at this site which need urgent attention including burst water pipes, rats and broken glass.

“I’ll make sure Leeds City Council are keeping up the pressure on the owner of the site to not only secure the building properly so that local residents are kept safe but also find a long-term resolution which puts the needs of the local community first.”

One local resident told The Dispatch:

“We’ve seen kids in there a lot. Problem is there’s nothing for them to do around here. Perhaps if they put some youth groups on it would help.”

Pennine Castings were originally known as Blakey’s Malleable Castings, and was formed in 1902 to produce the world-famous Blakey Shoe ‘Segs’ and Protectors. The company was dissolved in 2015.

What do you think? Is the answer greater youth provision and support in the area?

If you have any ideas for what you’d like the site on Modder Avenue to be used for, e-mail Councillor Alice Smart on or post in the comments section below.






  1. It will be great if there would be a supermarket where the factory is back in 2009 the council was in talks with morbaine to have a supermarket but nothing went ahead this big oppertunatiy for the community in armley.

  2. We need Councillors to fight and support a supermarket on the site or some kind of retail park, not to be wasted on more youth provision and support that would never be used to its fullest

  3. Worked there as apprentice and layed off 1990. What happen to the collection of used capacitors (approximately 8 not including the ones in use at the time in the furnace switch gear), these where larger than ‘army Jerry cans’, at the time were leaking P.C.B’s (Polychlorinated Biphenlyn) I always gave them a wide berth as they looked really dodgy later found out these to be toxic to the environment. I assume there should be a historical paper trail for the safe disposal tho knowing the penny pinchers in charge at the time I suspect a bling eye was turned


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