L/R Antony Rosindale (Rushbond), Cllr Ronald Grahame, Scott Lemm (The Gym Group), Cllr Judith Blake, Cllr Asghar Khan, Cllr Denise Ragan, Mark Finch (Rushbond) and Gary Broadley (The Broadey Group)
Work is now underway on the restoration and transformation of the former York Road Library into a state-of-the-art gym and fitness centre.
Leeds based property company Rushbond has appointed local contractor The Broadley Group to restore the Grade II listed building, as well as adding a new contemporary extension for The Gym Group, one of the UK’s largest operators of low-cost gyms.
The well-known landmark, close to Leeds City Centre, was designed by architects H.A. Chapman for Leeds City Council and originally opened in 1903.
Once complete, it will provide 16,000 square feet of studio space, weight rooms and a full suite of fitness equipment.
Mark Finch, Director at Rushbond: “This is a very special and historic building that was a hugely popular community facility for many decades.
“It is still talked about fondly and it’s great news that a sustainable end-use has been secured for this local treasure, a use which is also true it’s history, once again contributing to the health and wellbeing of the local community.
“The iconic features such as the turret, clock and the 'Leeds owl' mosaic in the old entrance hall are all to be restored –all supporting its landmark status on a key route into the City Centre.”
Rushbond PLC is an award winning Leeds based property company that was founded in 1986. The company has delivered a wide range of projects and developments that include residential, retail, offices, industrial and mixed use schemes.
Councillor Judith Blake commented: “It is fantastic news that a programme of restoration and refurbishment work has been started by Rushbond on the Grade II listed building of the former York Road Library.
“While the building will be brought very much into the 21st century by becoming the home of a new gym, it is pleasing that Rushbond have also pledged to ensure that its historical past will not be forgotten by restoring a variety of its iconic features.”
The Gym Group was founded by ex-England squash player John Treharne in 2008 with its first gym in Hounslow.
Two more gyms quickly followed and within three years the Group had opened 20 gyms. Today, they have around 80 gyms across the country.
Scott Lemm, General Manager at The Gym Group’s current Leeds site within The Core on The Headrow, says: “We were delighted with Rushbond's imaginative and exciting use of this great Heritage Icon.
“This building provides the foundation for what will be a truly individual and inspirational gym and fitness centre.
“Our vision is to provide affordable access to exercise facilities for everyone who wants to improve their wellbeing. We are very much looking forward to working with the local community and adding this great asset to our growing collection of gyms nationwide.”