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Work underway on conversion of historic church

Work has begun to convert a derelict 19th century Catholic church in the east end of Leeds city centre has taken a step forward.

Plans to redevelop Mount St Mary’s Church in Richmond Hill to create 175 apartments were approved in 2021.

Leeds property investment firm Aspen Woolf, which is handling the pre-sale inquiries for the apartments, has now confirmed the start of renovation and construction. The apartments are set to be ‘move in ready’ for 2026.

Originally built in 1851, the grade II*-listed Mount St Mary’s Church has been derelict for more than 30 years. The building previously served as an orphanage and housed more than 3,000 children between 1863 and 1953.

It was originally designed by York architect Joseph Hansom, and is known to have been extended by Edward Pugin, whose father Augustus Pugin designed Big Ben and the interiors of The Houses of Parliament.

The Mount is being developed by Leeds-based S9 Construction Ltd with the renovation being handled by Leeds architects’ practice Den Architecture.

The development will hold an elevated positioned in the south-east of the city centre, next to the new £300m SOYO Cultural Quarter district, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds College of Music, BBC Studios and Northern Ballet.