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Wellington Place’s Wagon Lifting Hoist Mini Museum officially opens!

Wellington Place, has officially opened the doors to its mini museum based in the former wagon lifting tower.

The mini museum, which celebrates Leeds’s rich industrial heritage, opened earlier this week with Wellington Place’s business community, key stakeholders, and visitors from across the city attending the official launch event.

Before the ribbon cutting guests enjoyed music from a local brass band, and 175 free ice cream were given away to mark the number of years the tower has been standing, speeches were received from Miles Jones, Development Director at Federated Hermes MEPC and Tim Marshall, COO at ghd, one of the businesses based at Wellington Place. Visitors were then able to get the first look into the eagerly anticipated mini museum and explore wider restoration work.

Located in the Grade II listed landmark lifting tower – one of the last remaining parts of the original Leeds Central Station – the museum exhibits artefacts and photography spanning the station’s more than century long history, including a ticket from the very last train and an original timetable.

Visitors can also watch specially created films capturing the memories of those who once used or worked at the station and listen to soundscapes that reflect some of the noises you could expect to hear at Leeds Central Station including steam trains and announcements.

To make the museum possible, the Victorian wagon lifting tower underwent a comprehensive, privately funded £1.5m restoration programme, which included repairing and repointing the existing building fabric; new windows and doors, and the introduction of internal and external lighting.

The museum is now open to the public and is free to access Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm and 10am to 4pm at weekends.

Paul Pavia, Head of Development at Federated Hermes MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind Wellington Place, said: “We were incredibly proud to officially launch our mini museum to the public with an event that brought together not only our business community, but other organisations and groups from across the city. It was a true celebration of our symbolic Grade II lifting tower, which has been given a new lease of life and will now play a key role in showcasing Leeds’s industrial heritage for years to come.

“We encourage locals and visitors alike to come to Wellington Place to read, watch and listen to the stories and tales of Leeds Central Station and enjoy a wonderful piece of restored history.”

Dating back to 1850, the lifting tower was one of a pair which stood either side of the river and canal viaduct. Using steam power and large chains, its role was to hoist wagons from the higher-level passenger line down to the Great Northern Goods yard at the original Leeds Central railway station.

Leeds Central station closed in 1967, and the entire complex was demolished apart from this one lifting tower. The Grade II listed building received a Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque in July 2011, marking it as an important historical point of interest in Leeds city centre.

Wellington Place continues to welcome stories, experiences, artefacts, and memories to be included in the museum. People can get in touch by emailing info@wellingtonplace.co.uk