Left Bank Leeds started life as a church in 1907. It was paid for through the fund-raising efforts of local people. Named St. Margaret’s, it became home to a local Anglican congregation for 85 years, until 1995, when the building became too difficult to maintain and it was forced to close.
Mike Love, (now one of our Trustees) was first inspired by the building way back in 1978. When the building closed in 1995, he began to imagine how the building could be used and rallied a group of local residents who also loved the building; they set up a charity and bought the building in 2002.
The initial plan was to carry on using the building as a church, but gradually a parallel vision emerged, to develop the building as a venue for the arts. And so, Left Bank Leeds was born.
St. Margaret’s was built to the designs of Temple Moore between 1907-1909. It stands together with Leeds City Varieties, Civic Hall, Grand Theatre as one of Leeds’ Grade II* listed buildings.
Temple Moore was one of Victorian England’s greatest church architects. In a career spanning five decades, he built more than forty churches. They are now considered to be masterpieces of the late Gothic Revival, a style of architecture he raised to a new level of beauty and refinement. You can find out more by following the Temple Moore Trail.
The building continues to inspire people, with its wonderful arches and high ceiling, as well as its sense of peace and space.
Damage to the roof and an infestation of pigeons meant the building was a health hazard and unfit for regular use. Thanks to generous funding from a private trust and from the Heritage Lottery Fund we were able to begin repair works in 2007.
The porch, designed by George Pace was added in the 1960s.