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Temple Works: Custodian CEG works to secure positive future for historic site

CEG is making continued significant progress in collaboration with a number of key stakeholders to preserve and enhance the iconic Temple Works for the benefit of future generations.The Grade I listed building, built in the Egyptian style by Leeds industrialist John Marshall between 1836 and 1840, was acquired by the CEG Group in early 2018 and forms part of the company’s £350m Temple scheme.

For the past 12 months, CEG has undertaken an extensive ‘exploration stage’ which has seen it work with partners to look at ways the building can be made more safe and secure.It has also started to explore initial possibilities for its future use. This includes the confirmation that Leeds City Council and the British Library have been, and continue to be, engaged in collaborative discussions with CEG about the potential occupancy of Temple Works by the British Library.

A further update on this was announced in yesterday’s Budget, with the Government announcing £25m of funding to support the establishment of a ‘British Library for the North’ in Leeds.This major new public space would make the library’s collections and services more accessible than ever before to users, communities and audiences across the region and beyond.

David Hodgson, Head of Strategic Development at CEG, said:

“This is great news for Leeds. This ongoing engagement with Temple Works has been made possible through CEG gaining a detailed understanding of the building over the past two years and we look forward to further collaborative working with the Council and the British Library as we continue exploring the iconic building’s future potential.We can then build on the engagement and consultation activities we have already started with the local community and other stakeholders to ensure the proposals are truly inclusive for all.”

Working with Leeds City Council, Historic England and other consultees, CEG has continued to invest in ongoing building management and operational health and safety activities with the aim of stabilising the building.These have included the employment of a building manager, continuing security and facilities management, the implementation of building structural monitoring and priority maintenance works as well as ongoing community engagement.

A remote monitoring regime has been put in place until safe access to the building can be secured. These include drone surveying, high resolution permanent video cameras, 3D scanning and modelling. Arup and Adept Consulting Engineers and Faithful & Gould are retained to undertake the work as part of a wider technical and professional team.This work builds on previous efforts since CEG’s acquisition of the site and has ensured that more is known about the building, its current condition and the challenges faced, than ever before.

CEG continues to commission a multi-disciplinary team at Temple Works, including site and project managers, engineers, heritage architects, a range of expert surveyors and safety advisers.

Temple Works has been in a long-term state of advanced decline for several decades without any successful solution. It suffered a significant structural collapse in December 2008 and the façade, as well as about 20 per cent of the main roof of the historic building, is now being supported by scaffold. The building has been high on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ programme run by Historic England for many years. This list identifies those sites that are most at risk of being lost and helps to reassure the public that public funding goes to the most needy and urgent cases.

Temple Works is part of Temple, a major development from CEG that will create a new district in the city and is a key gateway site in the Leeds South Bank.

Stirling prize winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is helping CEG with its South Bank regeneration masterplan, mindful of the setting of Temple Works and connecting it to CEG’s wider six-acre Globe Road/Water Lane development, which has detailed planning permission for 1.35m sq ft of offices, with ground floor retail and leisure and outline planning for a vibrant mix of up to 1.11m sq ft of offices, retail, leisure, hotel, health, education and community uses, up to 750 new homes and innovative public spaces and landscaping.

CEG has long been committed to the regeneration of Leeds and is currently delivering a ground-breaking £400m brownfield scheme at Kirkstall Forge, where a new station has been delivered and the first flagship 110,000 sq ft office is full.

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