In July 1850, Leeds Borough Council decided to build a new town hall, intended to represent Leeds' emergence as an important industrial centre during the Industrial Revolution and symbolize civic pride and confidence. 

The Leeds Town Hall is now used by the city council as a registry office. Weddings and civil partnerships take place in the Albert or Brodrick Suites. The former courtrooms are now the Albert Room, a conference suite with adjacent bar and canteen.

Today the town hall is mainly used for concerts and formal civic functions. It is the setting for the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. The Leeds International Film Festival screens many of its films in the there each year.  The town hall hosts events of local interest such as the Leeds International Beer Festival and has been used in many film and TV productions.