Leeds community centre closed after safety report

Gildersome Youth Centre, Street Lane, Gildersome.
Gildersome Youth Centre, Street Lane, Gildersome.

A Leeds community centre used by more than 200 people every week has suddenly closed.

Leeds City Council shut Gildersome Youth Centre after a report by fire officers found safety risks in the building.

Ward councillors say groups that use the centre for activities - including a playgroup, scouts and guides, and a youth group - have now been left with nowhere to go.

The village centre, on Street Lane, passed a previous fire safety inspection in April but failed a second one last month and was closed on September 2.

Coun Bob Gettings, for Morley North, said: “It was a shock to everyone when the Youth Centre was closed as it had passed a previous fire safety inspection in April.

“We are pledging to do everything we can to make the Youth Centre safe for the groups that use the building and get them back in as quickly as possible.” Coun Gettings said plans were in place for the nearby Gildersome Meeting Hall to be expanded to house the groups but work has not yet started.

Officers from the council, which owns the site, spoke with groups, residents and councillors about the closure during a meeting in Gildersome last Tuesday.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “In April 2016 we carried out a periodic review of fire risk assessment at Gildersome Youth Centre which noted some concerns, so we advised a further inspection should take place later in the year.

“This inspection was conducted in August and concluded the risk to fire safety posed by defects in the building mean the building should not be used until these risks reduce.

“We have closed the building for now while we examine the issues, and are working with the centre users to find alternative accommodation for community activities.”