Former Leeds pub given new lease of life

NEW CENTRE: The former Bedford Arms is being transformed into a hub for the local community.

NEW CENTRE: The former Bedford Arms is being transformed into a hub for the local community.

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A former watering hole that has been transformed into a new community centre is set to open in Tinshill for the first time this weekend.

The Welcome In is all set for its grand opening on Saturday, February 25.

The centre is opening in what was formerly the Bedford Arms pub.

Residents are being invited to attend the opening from 11am-3pm.

The building is to be operated by Older People’s Action in the Locality (OPAL) who want to provide a safe, accessible and affordable community space.

OPAL was set up in January 2002 to reduce isolation for older people and to ensure that any person over 60 years and living in their geographical boundaries, can live safely, healthily and confidently in their own home.

The new centre, on Silk Mill Drive, is now set to open two years after fundraising began.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation is supporting the new centre with a number of players and chief executive Gary Hetherington set to attend on Saturday to launch a new partnership between Leeds Rhinos Foundation and OPAL.

OPAL Chairperson Grace Clark said: “We are so pleased to be able to open the doors of the Welcome In after many months of fundraising.”

Ailsa Rhodes, OPAL’s Project Co-ordinator, said: “I am overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of so many individuals and agencies who have contributed their time and money to OPAL’s ambitious plans for the Welcome In Community Centre.

“Thank you to each and every person who has helped make this year such a memorable one.”

The building will house a kitchen, meeting rooms and a cafe with plans to build a further two activity rooms.

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