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Call to save some of Leicester's finest historical buildings


Three churches, a disused railway building and a former bank are among 10 important city buildings at risk of falling into ruin, according to a heritage society.

Leicester Victorian Society has compiled its own report on buildings in Leicester in need of urgent attention following the release of an English Heritage list of national sites last week.

Among the buildings on the Victorian Society list is the grade II-listed Master Hosier's House, in Darker Street, off Vaughan Way, which has a hole in the roof.

St Peter's Vicarage, in Highfields, which has been empty for more than 20 years, and Barclays bank, in Horsefair Street, are also included.

Society spokesman Grahame Lees said: "Our list is in no particular order – they are just some of the city's buildings we think are important and in need to attention.

"City mayor Peter Soulsby has done a lot to take some historical buildings under his wing. It would be nice if he could take a look, along with others maybe, at other buildings on our list, too."

A former at-risk building, the old HSBC bank in Granby Street, has been taken over by the Members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Mr Lees said it would be nice to see the "beautiful" Barclays bank put to use again in a similar way.

"We are so thankful for the Hare Krishnas and the way they have taken on the HSBC bank," he said. "It would be lovely to see the Barclays bank get the same treatment."

Three churches – St Saviour's Church in Spinney Hills, St Barnabas, in New Humberstone, and St Paul's, in Fosse Road – are all included.

"Churches are on there a lot because they're so difficult to find a use for due to there very often being a policy of them only being used for religion," Mr Lees said.

"They are also usually in need of an awful lot of work and are often quite large buildings."

Mr Lees said he hoped the list would encourage developers, the public and Leicester City Council to invest in and promote the buildings.

City mayor Peter Soulsby said the recently-created Heritage Partnership was already working to protect and promote some of the buildings on the list. "The Heritage Partnership is bringing together individuals and groups such as the Victorian Society to focus on Leicester's wonderful historical buildings," he said. "We've already made progress with quite a number of the properties on their list, including the Guild of the Disabled building, where work is already being carried out by its new owners.

"The council is protecting the Donisthorpe factory, and we are in detailed discussion with the bank that owns it."

He said the authority had also taken action to protect the Great Central carriage sheds, in Upperton Road, from demolition.

"We will continue to monitor these buildings and take action if we can, or encourage others to take action to safeguard their future."

Call to save some of Leicester's finest    historical buildings

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