History & heritage

About Vastint
History & heritage

The area now known as Aire Park holds important industrial and social significance, contributing to the rich history of Leeds. Prior to becoming Aire Park, the site was occupied by a range of industries, including a foundry, sawmills, iron works, engineers, a glass works, a cooperage and electricity substations, and most famously the Tetley Brewery site.


History & Heritage 1

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds, WYL756/WYAS1468

The Tetley Brewery dates back to October 1822, when Joshua Tetley took the lease at Salem Place for £400.00. In 1839 Francis William Tetley joined his father as a partner, creating Joshua Tetley & Son.   


History & Heritage 3

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds, WYL756/WYAS1468

Common brewing was a risky occupation in the early 1800’s, most inns and private houses brewed their own beer, thus brewing for sale was not hugely viable. Common brewers came and went. Joshua’s precept was that ‘quality pays’. However, the growing number of industrial workers meant a greater demand for beer and in 1830 the Beer House Act made it easy to set up a pub selling beer, leading to more small pubs which found it uneconomic to brew their own beer.  


History & Heritage 5

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds, WYL756/WYAS1468

In 1852 work began on an extension to the brewery, called the New Brewery and by 1859 Tetley’s was said to be the largest brewery in the North.


History & Heritage 7


A great boom in trade in 1870 meant the brewery needed to expand again. New maltings were procured in Meadow Lane and Chadwick Street as well as several other buildings in the area. By 1896 the brewery extended over 5.75 acres with frontages on Hunslet Road, South Brook Street, Crown Point Road and Waterloo Street.


In 1931 the art deco Tetley headquarters building was erected. The building still stands at Aire Park today, known as ‘The Tetley Building’.


History & Heritage 9

By 1980 Tetley becomes the world’s largest producer of cask ales.


History & Heritage 11

By 1998 Tetley’s was taken over by Carlsberg. In 2008 Carlsberg announced they would close the Tetley’s brewery in three years’ time.


In 2011 the brewery was closed, with the majority of buildings demolished in 2012, with the exception of the original headquarters building, the Carlsberg building and the original brewery entrance.


History & Heritage 13

The Tetley Building reopens as a contemporary art gallery, events space and bar and kitchen, run by Project Space Leeds.


History & Heritage 15

Vastint UK acquires the site and begins working on the masterplan for a 24-acre mixed-use district with a large city-park at it’s centre, now known as Aire Park.