Holbeck celebrates its new council housing

Dodging blustery showers, residents, school children, Councillors, staff from builders Keepmoat and Housing Leeds came together on Friday (29 January 2016) to celebrate the completion of new council housing in Holbeck.

Before the new community garden was opened, people gathered in The Holbeck club out of the rain. First we heard children from Ingram Road Primary School sing a reworking of a High School Musical song – The Start of a New Holbeck. You can listen to them here:

Children from Ingram Road Primary School sing Start of a New Holbeck
Children from Ingram Road Primary School sing The Start of a New Holbeck

Simon Costigan from Housing Leeds reminded the audience of Holbeck’s past achievements, as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution. Later Holbeck was home to important social reformers such as educationalist Rev John Kendall and Rev Charles Jenkinson who championed council housing in the 1930s.

Councillor Angela Gabriel reminded those present that the project had been ten years in the making with three separate bids going to government to secure the PFI funding. She also spoke about the many community groups in the area including Holbeck in Bloom who have just published a walking guide to the area.

The rain cleared and the sun came out in time for the official opening of the community garden which has been created outside The Holbeck club.

(L_R) Cllr Angela Gabriel, Cllr Adam Ogilvie, John Hincliffe sc4L, Cllr Debra Coupar, Simon Costigan Housing Leeds
(L_R) Cllr Angela Gabriel, Cllr Adam Ogilvie, John Hinchliffe (sc4L), Cllr David Congreve, Sean Corcoran (Keepmoat), Cllr Debra Coupar, Simon Costigan (Housing Leeds)

At its centre is a monument containing facsimiles of plaques recovered from the demolished Holbeck Towers. The plaques honoured two important figures in securing local council housing – Rev Charles Jenkinson who was both Vicar of Holbeck and Chair of the Housing Committee; and Hugh Gaitskell was MP for the Leeds South constituency and leader of the Labour Party until his death in 1963.

Finally it was revealed that the new housing would be named Gaitskell Towers.

Work continues in Beeston Hill and the housing regeneration project will eventually see 275 new council homes built and 373 homes refurbished.


2 Replies to “Holbeck celebrates its new council housing”

  1. Congratulations and well done to all those who have played a part in seeing the new Holbeck housing through to completion. As someone, along with many others, involved in the early days a decade or so ago, I recall the setbacks we had, so it’s great to read about the persevering South Leeds spirit getting the job done in the end for the benefit of the local community. Brilliant news!

  2. This really is great news for Holbeck. I honestly think that the new housing will spark further (and much needed) regeneration of the area. The park used to be an eyesore: every week there was a different set of travellers setting up camp on there. With the new, modern housing Holbeck has been given a facelift.

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