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3 Empty Leeds Buildings That Could Be Put to Better Use

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

From old bars to former hospitals, these buildings still lie empty.

The Elbow Room Closed For Good

These three famous buildings have been standing empty for too long and Leeds needs them back to their best.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen new developments rise from the ground, giving us everything from offices to bars, restaurants and shops. But while they’re now packed out, some of the city’s existing buildings stand empty. These three are prime examples – they may need a bit of TLC, but they have huge potential and we’d love to see them filled.

The Old Leeds Dispensary

Old Dispensary, Leeds

It was the city centre’s main hospital from 1904 until 1971, before it became home to the Leeds Deaf and Blind Society in 1976 – but since they moved out a few years ago, it’s stood empty. The Old Leeds Dispensary is a grade II listed gem on the corner of North Street, one of the most promising parts of the city centre, which should make it an attractive proposition, whether it’s for offices, flats or something altogether more exciting.

The Old Leeds Dispensary, Centenary House, North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JS.

The Elbow Room

Elbow Room

For more than 15 years, The Elbow Room was one of Leeds’ most popular venues, offering live music, sports and pool tables across two floors. It shut down for good in April 2015 after the previous owners went out of business – no one would have guessed that it would be out of action for so long, but things got complicated when the liquor licence expired. There were rumours that it might become a sexual entertainment venue when owners Tokyo Industries took it over last year, but they’re now looking elsewhere. A bar, a venue, a restaurant? Anything (except that lap dancing club) would be better than an empty shell.

The Elbow Room, 64 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.

Brotherton House

Brotherton House, St Paul's Street,, Leeds

Brotherton House’s 1950s architecture is back in style, which means the building could, and should, have a bright future ahead. An incredible example of brutalism, it was built in 1956 for chemical company Brotherton and Co before Leeds City Police took it over as offices, but it’s been lying empty for more than a decade now. There have been murmurings of new residents over the years, but none have come to fruition, which is a shame for a building that could become one of the most desirable in the city.

Brotherton House, Westgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2RS.