A Victorian building that was once home to the manufacturer of “the celebrated Yorkshire Relish” is being sold to raise money for reinvestment in the NHS.
Leafield House, on King Lane near the Leeds Outer Ring Road in Moortown, is being sold as a redevelopment opportunity by national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) on behalf of owners NHS Property Services.
The four-storey building was most recently used as offices by NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group. It has now been declared surplus to requirements by the NHS. Following a merger of three CCGs in Leeds, the new NHS Leeds CCG consolidated its office base onto a single more cost-effective location at Wira Business Park from April 2018.
NHS Property Services has a responsibility to secure maximum value for surplus sites on behalf of the NHS and the site will now be placed on the open market for sale. Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in the NHS.
Helen Stubbs, Senior Transaction Manager at NHS Property Services, said: “Our role here is to generate funds from the sale of surplus land to reinvest in the NHS.
“By selling land that the NHS no longer needs, we can also help increase efficiency and reduce the operational costs of the estate we oversee.”
According to historical information on display at the site, Leafield House was built around 1873 and was known initially as Albert House. In the 1920s, it was home to William Powell Bowman and his family. Bowman was the owner of Goodall, Backhouse & Co and described his profession as “wholesale druggist and manufacturer of the celebrated Yorkshire Relish.”
Millions of bottles of Yorkshire Relish – a piquant, cold sauce – were manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was marketed as “the most delicious sauce in the world!”
Leafield House was bought in 1951 and two years later, the Leeds Corporation Health Committee submitted a planning application to turn the building into a maternity and child welfare centre. When clinical services were moved to more modern surroundings in 2012, Leafield House was refurbished to provide office space.
Richard Corby, Director at LSH, said: “Leafield House has a fascinating history and we’re delighted to bring it to market as an exciting redevelopment opportunity.
“The building is in a popular and accessible part of North Leeds close to the Outer Ring Road. There is a wide range of retail and leisure facilities in the local area, and easy access to the city centre, which makes it ideal for conversion to residential accommodation or redevelopment.”
The property was made available to other public bodies before being offered on the open market, but no approaches were received.