New chapter for landmark library building as keys handed over to gym operator

The development company behind the transformation of a landmark Leeds library has handed over the keys to make way for a new state of the art gym and fitness centre.

Leeds-based property company Rushbond has led the comprehensive programme to bring back into use the York Road Library, a grade II listed building, alongside the development of a new extension.

Low-cost gym operator The Gym Group is now carrying out an internal fit-out of the 16,000 sq ft development, comprising fitness suites, weights rooms and studio space, leading towards the formal opening later in the summer.

The library was originally designed for Leeds City Council by Architects HA Chapman and opened in 1903.

On a key gateway into Leeds city centre, the building had sat empty and unused since the library closed back in the 1970s.

Mark Finch, director of real estate from Rushbond, said: “This is a much-loved Leeds icon, which holds memories for so many people including local residents and all those who visited the Library or went to the baths for their school swimming lessons.

“Finding new and suitable uses for such historic assets is often challenging and particularly when it’s important to remain true to its heritage, but in many respects a gym is an ideal use and the building can once again contribute to the health and wellbeing of the local community.”

Adam Haines from The Gym Group, who is general manager of the new gym, said: “We are really looking forward to opening our latest Leeds gym in this remarkable building.  It is a great location and the building is full of fascinating features.”

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