Construction work has started on a brand new hub for environmental volunteers working in and around west Leeds.
The Hollybush Roundhouse project in Kirkstall, part of the Hollybush Conservation Centre, is finally under way after three years of fundraising efforts to raise the £20,000 that was needed.
As well as providing a much-needed space for volunteers to meet and take breaks, the hub will also host training sessions, workshops and be available for group or private hire at other times.
“Our old volunteers’ room was too small and we converted it into the café three years ago,” explained John Preston, centre manager at Hollybush.
“Finally we will have a beautiful, fully accessible space and more groups will be able to have a base when visiting or using the Hollybush grounds”.
The fundraising effort has included individual donations, which accounted for 20 per cent of the total collected. A further 10 per cent came from fundraising events, including three sponsored walks or cycles. Donations in memory of four volunteers added another £5,000.
The project has also been helped by a capital grant from Big Lottery Reaching Communities and support from Torque UK, a major logistics company in Wortley, which adopted it as its Charity of the Year. Contributions have also been received from The Wades Trust, Sir George Martin Trust, Brotherton Trust, the ACT Foundation, the West Riding Masonic Charity and the R E Chadwick Trust.
Local councillors also added £4,300 of community funding.
Councillor Fiona Venner said: “Hollybush is a such a special place, now more people will be able to enjoy it.”