Charity completes £1.4m refurb of historic Leeds building into creative hub

Alternative education provider MAP Charity has completed its £1.4m refurbishment of the historic Hope Foundry building in Leeds.

The charity, which helps young people excluded from mainstream education, has been using the Grade-II listed building Education Programme and a small number of creative practitioners and not-for-profit organisations. Now, the £1.4m project has given local creative businesses and practitioners access to affordable workspaces.

Hope Foundry’s refurbished first and second floors provide a home for small, independent organisations and start-ups, in a move intended to reinvigorate Mabgate’s reputation as a hub of creativity. Up to 30 organisations will now be able to use the spaces ranging from 150 to 2,693 sqft – with agents Fox Lloyd Jones appointed by the charity to lead lettings.

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Tom Smith, co-founder of MAP Charity, said: “We’re hugely proud of this major refurbishment and being able to take derelict spaces and turn them into fantastic workspaces. Our aim is to make the building sustainable financially, whilst also offering affordable spaces to creative businesses who want to work with young people.

“In addition to the benefits to potential occupiers, the expanded possibilities following the refurbishment of Hope Foundry are hugely important to MAP Charity’s Education Programme, which works with young people at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training). By working closely with a community of creative professionals, students will be able to access opportunities to learn skills directly from creative professionals and apply them to real life situations.”

Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, added: “It’s fantastic to see plans for this beautiful building taking such an important step forward. The redevelopment of Hope Foundry will be an important catalyst in revitalising the Mabgate area, which is such a key part of the city for our creative industries, independents and start-ups. The superb work of MAP helps so many talented young people in Leeds to flourish and we’re very proud to be supporting them to develop that work further.”

Hope Foundry’s first floor comprises ten studio workspaces, which are now fully let. The 2,693 sqft second floor operates as one large workspace available as a whole or in part.

Nick Salkeld, director at Fox Lloyd Jones, said: “Hope Foundry is paving the way in placing Mabgate at the forefront of a fast-growing hive of creativity bringing together a wide variety of organisations. We are delighted to be working alongside MAP Charity to build this exciting community and play a role in revitalising the iconic Hope Foundry.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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