Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Plans for viaduct project gather pace

A community campaign to transform an iconic viaduct linking Holbeck with Farnley and Wortley into a vibrant green space for the public to enjoy has outlined its vision for the future.

The Holbeck Viaduct campaign aims to transform the disused Victorian railway line into a picturesque walkway, similar to the highlines in New York and Camden, to link the inner city area with the city centre.

An artist’s impression of what the viaduct could look like. Image: Edward Architecture

This month it became formally incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC) and is looking for additional directors to complement the existing team.

They are looking for interested community members, partners, businesses – particularly those with skills to help move the project forward on the next phase of its journey.

A virtual open meeting is being held on Tuesday 27th July 6.30pm for people to find out more about the viaduct and the vision for bringing it back into use – and provides a chance to get involved in the project.

A trial access area for the Holbeck Viaduct Project aims to open to the public as part of the Leeds 2023 international culture festival. The group’s new vision document is packed with stories, images and plans for the future of the viaduct.


James Whitley, of the Holbeck Viaduct Project, said:

“This is an exciting vision that, most importantly, proposes to bring a disused asset back into the hands of the community. We look forward to the next steps which include securing access to enable ‘meanwhile’ use onto the viaduct by 2023.”

Graham Edward, managing director of Edward Architecture, said:

“We are delighted to be appointed on this exciting project designed to bring back to life an iconic Victorian industrial heritage site for public use. With the current growth and development of South Bank Leeds, the benefits would be significant by creating a linear urban oasis throughout the city of Leeds.”

Viaduct history

Built in 1882 for the London and North Western Railway, the viaduct – also known by some as Farnley Viaduct – is an acclaimed feat of Victorian engineering, forming part of a vital transport link into the city centre with panoramic views of the city.

It spans 92 archways and 1.1 miles (1.7 km). It runs from Leeds railway station, via Holbeck Urban Village and Old Holbeck, passes near Elland Road Stadium and ends onto wasteland in Wortley.

At over 1.6km long and with 92 archways, the prospect of repurposing the Holbeck Viaduct has captured the imagination of city planners, designers, local residents and
community groups alike.

The project aims to re-open the viaduct as a thoroughfare linking Elland Road and Beeston to the city centre, with access points at Domestic Street and Temple
South Bank.

More information be e-mailing holbeck.viaduct@gmail.com.

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