Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saving Leicester's industrial heritage

Whatever the faults of the mayoral system in general and the Leicester's current office holder in particular, Sir Peter Soulsby does have a stronger interest in the city's heritage than some who have had charge of its affairs in recent years.

Today's Leicester Mercury reports his visit to the Victorian All Saints Brewery, which has long been derelict and prey to vandalism and suspicious fires. Derelict Places explored the site in 2007, and I took the photograph above from the graveyard of the neighbouring church a couple of years after that.

The Mercury report begins:
A conservation strategy is being drawn up to save Leicester's crumbling industrial heritage. 
Far too many of the city's historic mills and factories are being left to fall into ruin, according to city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who said he believed it was time to secure what is left. 
It follows his visit to the site of the derelict All Saints Brewery site, in Highcross Street, where he met with representatives of heritage groups and Leicester City Council conservation and building control officers. 
Sir Peter said: "What's happened here should serve as a warning and it's very sad to see part of our industrial heritage lie in ruins. 
"In Leicester, we haven't always valued our wonderful industrial heritage and that needs to change. So many of our buildings are in danger and what we need is a new heritage strategy." 
Most of the All Saints site has been demolished for safety reasons, with the shell of the 19th century master brewer's house all that remains.
As the article goes on to demonstrate, there are several more valuable industrial buildings at risk in this part of the city. Let's hope the new strategy will have enough teeth to save them from a similar fate.

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