Royal Park: Public to have their say on Leeds school site

Campaigners have called a public meeting to lay their plans for raising £750,000 to transform an abandoned school into a community centre.

As reported in the YEP, a six-year campaign to secure the former Royal Park primary school at Hyde Park for community use ended this week when Leeds City Council agreed the building should be kept in the public domain for use by local people.

The school had served as a centre for community activity when it was in use.

Local residents formed the Royal Park Community Consortium (RPCC) in a bid to secure the building for continued community use.

Now they have nine months to raise 750,000 to convert the building. A

public meeting will take place at Burley Lodge Centre next Saturday to start the work.

One of the organisers, Suzi Marsh: "People have been working really hard on this project and it's great to see the level of support that exists within the community.

"We've also been getting plenty of requests from people wanting to know how they can get involved, so with this in mind we'd like to invite everyone to attend an open meeting at 2pm on Saturday January 15 at the Burley Lodge Centre.

"This will be a chance for everyone to find out more about the RPCC's plans for the building and how they can get involved.

"There's a lot of work still to do and this project will only succeed

if everyone gets involved, so please come along and find out how you can help.

"There's a role for absolutely everyone regardless of experience, but we are particularly keen to hear from people with experience in accounting, grant writing and construction as well as fundraising of any fashion – we've got to raise 750,000 in nine months and we're

going to need all the help we can get!"

The group hopes to transform the Victorian building into a centre of activity for youth and community groups, nursery, gym, office space, business starter units and possibly a library.