City Varieties Wins Leeds Architecture Award

city varieties wins leeds architecture award

City Varieties Wins Leeds Architecture Award

The City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds won ‘Best Conserved Building’ at the Leeds Architecture Awards.

The theatre re-opened in September 2011 after a £9.9million refurbishment. This included £2.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £5.2million from Leeds City Council. Along with generous funds raised by Friends of City Varieties, the 147-year old Music Hall has been returned to its former glory.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Member for Leisure and the Chair of the Board at the City Varieties says: “Leeds has an ambition to become the best city in the UK. The quality of its architecture has a crucial role to play in realising this ambition. The award for City Varieties Music Hall is tremendous. The fact it is in the heart of Leeds and attracts so many people is something of which we can all be proud.”

“The beauty and heritage of the theatre is respected”

The Leeds Architecture Awards is a celebration of excellence in architectural design. It aims to promote a sense of pride in the reshaping of the city. Theatre Manager Peter Sandeman says: “We’re absolutely delighted with this award. We know the beauty and heritage of the theatre is respected in the City and beyond because visitors and artists tell us all the time but to have this official accolade is praise indeed.”

City Varieties is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the nation’s longest running music hall. It was built in 1865 and has quite a history. As the popularity of music hall waned in the early 1900s, a succession of owners battled to keep it alive. They often turned to lower quality variety and revue performances as well as the popular nude shows of the times. In 1953 the then owner was persuaded by a TV producer to host a pilot TV show inspired by old-time music hall and The Good Old Days was born. It went on to be the BBC’s longest-running variety show lasting for 30 years. Its worldwide audience brought international fame to the Varieties.

The City Varieties continues to host comedy, drama and music along with circuses, children’s shows and even film.

For more information on City Varieties Music Hall visit


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