Hunslet residents are rallying to preserve the iconic St Mary’s church spire in the heart of their community. A public meeting will be held later this month, for others to find out more and get involved.
The local Victorian landmark – on Church Street opposite the Penny Hill Centre – was built in the 1860s as part of St Mary’s Church. Although the main church building was rebuilt in 1975, the original spire remained. But then the church – which was structurally unsound – was closed in 2015, and the main building demolished earlier this year. The Church of England are now looking to find a future for the spire, and the land around it.
With an estimated £100,000 needing to be spent on the spire to make it secure, a good deal of uncertainty hangs over its future. It is understood that the prime land around the spire will be included in any sale, and in fact the Church of England are understood to be open to effectively gifting the whole site to any organisation with a credible and sustainable plan for its use.
Cath Bennett – one of the local residents pushing for a positive new plan for the site – commented:
“People of Hunslet: let’s join forces to save our iconic landmark. It’s a big challenge, but we believe we could make something amazing happen on that site, for the whole community, if we work together. Don’t let Hunslet become hollowed out, like Stourton – join us for our meeting this month, or get in touch anytime.”
The ‘Save Our Spire’ public meeting is on Thursday 24 October, at 6pm for a 6.30pm start, at the next-door St Mary’s Primary School; or find the group online at facebook.com/Hunslet.SOS.