Stourton Copperworks site brought back to life

The Copperworks in Stourton has been a South Leeds landmark since it was built as the Leeds Copperworks in 1894.

From the invention of the Yorkshire fitting and the supply of materials for shipbuilding repairs in World War I, the Copperworks has played a pivotal role in British industry and history.

Generations of families have worked at the site, seeing the transition from Leeds Copperworks into Yorkshire Copperworks, as well as multiple mergers and takeovers since.

The site has played host to a number of industrial breakthroughs, as well as royal visits, and at its peak was the workplace of a 5,000 strong workforce. It closed in 1980.

In 1930 a works brass band was formed as the Yorkshire Copperworks Band. This still exists today as the Yorkshire Imperial Band, or Yorkshire Imps, you may have seen them performing in Middleton Park in recent years.

The old works have been refurbished with buildings re-roofed and re-clad by Towngate plc. A modern warehousing and distribution facility of 300,000 sq ft has been created which is currently on the market.

If you have any family memories of the Copperworks please send them to

Please read the comments as some ‘facts’ in this article are disputed.


2 Replies to “Stourton Copperworks site brought back to life”

  1. YORKSHIRE COPPER WORKS, cunningly renamed by someone as Stourton Copper Works, a name that not one of its former employees would recognise.

    I was still working there in 1983. The place actually closed just two years ago. At its peak, during the war, it is said that over 90000 worked there. When I started in 1966, there were over 9000 working on site and at various depots, works and subsidiaries in the UK and all around the world.


    1. Hi David, thanks for getting in touch and putting us right.

      I can see that the headline might be confusing but I wasn’t suggesting that the plant was called the “Stourton Copperworks”, merely that it located in Stourton.

      The other ‘facts’ in the article were taken from the developer’s publicity material and taken on trust as I struggled to find other sources on the internet. Your figure of 9,000 working for the company across various sites in 1966 pretty much marries up with my figure of 5,000 at the site in Stourton. I would be interested in your source for the 90,000 workers during the war. That’s a huge number, given all the other war work being undertaken by engineers in Leeds.

      As for your final statement, I’m afraid I can’t agree. Our readers will be interested to know that the works buildings have been refurbished and that employment is set to return to the site. I do try to get my facts right first time, but I trust our readership, including your good self, to correct me when I get it wrong. Between us we can bring the full story to our readers.

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