Regeneration scheme helps vinyl make a comeback at historic building

Dog House Bar and Record Store
The Doghouse café and bar, with Paula’s Vinyl record shop

A former cloth merchant’s house in one of Leeds’s oldest streets has reached the vinyl frontier thanks to an exciting regeneration project.

The building at 93 Kirkgate reopened last week as The Doghouse café and bar, with Paula’s Vinyl record shop above it, after receiving a grant through the Kirkgate Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The project has brought all three floors of the previously vacant building and its basement back into use after the developers applied to a £110,000 grant to support vital repair work.

The work has included repointing in lime mortar, reroofing with blue slate, installation of timber sash windows and the reinstatement of a traditional shopfront.

Originally a cloth merchant’s house, the building was also used as a leather dealer in 1839 and hosiers in 1870.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “It’s inspiring to see this historic building brought back into use and joining the growing number of sites in the area which have been given a new start thanks to this project.

“This is an area which is steeped in history but which has been neglected for far too long and it’s vital that we protect and preserve its character whilst encouraging its redevelopment and regeneration.

“Ambitious, forward-thinking projects like this are tangible proof that, with vision, determination and good partnership work, historic buildings can still be an asset to Leeds and an important part of our hugely successful economy both now and in the future.”

Financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Leeds City Council, the Townscape Heritage Initiative aims to protect and restore the historic character of buildings in the lower Kirkgate area, which is one of the city’s oldest streets.

The project at 93 Kirkgate follows the successful opening of Wapentake, a traditional Yorkshire café, next door at 92 Kirkgate, which also received a grant through the THI.

Further grants and improvement projects are being pursued for other buildings on Lower Kirkgate in the hope that they can be brought back into use and improved in the same way.

The repairs have also enhanced the character and appearance of the City Centre Conservation Area and the setting of the grade II* First White Cloth Hall.