Nineteenth century Leeds Methodist chapel turned into radio station

1
Have your say

It once reverberated with the sound of worshippers raising their voices in song.

Now the former Methodist chapel in Seacroft is a big noise for different reasons – after being turned into a community radio station and arts venue.

Adrian Sinclair, Artistic Director at Chapel FM, new state-of-the-art community facility in the superbly refurbished Old Seacroft Chapel. Picture Tony Johnson

Adrian Sinclair, Artistic Director at Chapel FM, new state-of-the-art community facility in the superbly refurbished Old Seacroft Chapel. Picture Tony Johnson

The 19th century York Road building officially opened as the home of East Leeds FM today after a £900,000 refurbishment.

Including two state-of-the-art studios and a radio-theatre with a 70 seat auditorium, the project has been christened Chapel FM.

Many of the chapel’s original features have been retained.

Adrian Sinclair, creative director of Heads Together Productions, the community arts organisation behind the project, said: “We’ve listened hard to residents and our volunteers and taken on board their ideas and suggestions.

“As a result we have a broad and adventurous programme of performances, broadcasts, films, training and events to support local groups of all ages.

“Plus we’re enticing artists from across Yorkshire and beyond to this unique venue.”

Luke Thompson, lead singer with up-and-coming Leeds band Carnabells, started volunteering with East Leeds FM at school. He said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see their dream new building come to life.

“Chapel FM has such amazing facilities and offers so many different artists, from story tellers, poets, musicians and budding presenters of all ages, the chance to develop their skills in a really friendly and supportive atmosphere.”

The project was funded through grants from various groups including Arts Council England and Jimbo’s Fund, set up by Leeds millionaire and philanthropist Jimi Heselden.

His widow Julie Heselden said: “We are delighted to have been able to support this project which is providing such great opportunities for children and young people in East Leeds. Jimi was very keen on giving local people opportunities that they might otherwise not have.”

Sir Vince Cable in conversation with Alfie Moore backing the Weston Park Cancer Charity's 1m 2020 For Business Appeal at Westfield Health in Sheffield.

VIDEO: Sir Vince Cable urges firms to back £1m Weston Park Cancer Charity 2020 For Business Appeal