Crowd funding appeal to help Leeds craft ventures

Fire at Hill's Furniture Store, Leeds

Fire at Hill's Furniture Store, Leeds

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A Social enterprise forced out if its home by fire has, after a year of searching, found new premises and is appealing for the people of Leeds to help.

Fabrication Crafts was devastated when the aftermath of the blaze at the neighbouring Hills furniture factory in November 2015 revealed irreparable structural damage.

Date: 2nd February 2012.
Dawn Wood, Chair of Fabrication, a social enterprise craft shop inside the Merrion Centre, Leeds.

Date: 2nd February 2012. Dawn Wood, Chair of Fabrication, a social enterprise craft shop inside the Merrion Centre, Leeds.

It has just secured a new workshop space from Hammersons, the developer behind Victoria Gate and John Lewis.

It is over three floors but needs work from re-wiring to re-painting, at a cost of around £10,000, in order to make it ready to re-open by the end of January.

An out of use lift needs repairing to bring in machinery and extra equipment is needed to accommodate the amount of makers and crafts people that are clamouring to use the space.

Dawn Wood, the chief executive of Fabrication Crafts, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that crowd-funding was a last port of call after agreements to secure free labour fell through because of the time it took to secure the lease for the new workshop which is off Vicar Lane.

“The labourers had to take up other projects so that is why we are in the position that we are.

“There are not that many buildings that will take clothes and machines but we knew it was still needed so it was important to find a solution and when this came up we nabbed it.”

Over the last eight years the workshop and a separate retail shop based in The Light has helped 300 micro-businesses and this will enable them to provide support to even more craft makers working alone - from jewellers to graphic designers and wood-workers.

Mrs Wood added: “The potential in my head for what it could be is immense. We have got people queuing up who want to be in. There will be a good mix and a good atmosphere.”

An open evening for offers of help or people interested in the venture is being held at the site on Thursday, 5pm-7pm.

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