MAP Charity begins £1million project to refurbish Hope Foundry in Mabgate
Work has begun to refurbish the Grade II listed Hope Foundry in Mabgate, Leeds.
The historic building, which dates back to the 1800s, is currently home to the MAP Charity, which supports young people who have been excluded from mainstream education.
It is also the base of a small number of creative businesses and not-for-profits, who work closely with the charity's students.
Hope Foundry has been the home of the charity for 10 years and it purchased the building in 2019.
MAP has now secured joint funding from Leeds City Council and a European Regional Development Fund to start refurbishing the site.
Plans for the million-pound project are to create new workspaces to give local creatives greater access to affordable studios.
Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, Councillor Jonathan Pryor, said: "It’s fantastic to see plans for this beautiful building taking such an important step forward.
"The redevelopment of Hope Foundry will be an important catalyst in revitalising the Mabgate area, which is such a key part of the city for our creative industries, independents and start-ups.
"The superb work of MAP helps so many talented young people in Leeds to flourish and we’re very proud to be supporting them to develop that work further.”
It is expected that 30 businesses will be able to operate from Hope Foundry once the refurbishment is complete.
The spaces will be offered at low cost, affordable rates.
In addition to the benefits to makers, the expanded possibilities of a restored Hope Foundry will be hugely important to MAP Charity's education programme, which pairs qualifications with hands-on, industry experience.
By working closely with the community of creative professionals, MAP Charity gives students who would otherwise be at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) the chance to learn skills and apply them in real-life business contexts.
Education Manager at MAP Charity, Tom Edney, said: "Our creative partners make a massive difference to MAP and our students.
"They make our offer more dynamic by providing extra sessional support, whilst making sure students receive input from a range of skilled artists and practitioners.
"It is wonderful to see students experience diversity in the relationships developed at MAP."
Head of Art at MAP Charity, Marcia Brown, said: "I think it is important that young people get the opportunity to engage with and learn from 'real' artists visiting MAP.
"They benefit from learning new skills and get to take part in project work as well as talking to the artists about their career route and craft, they get a better understanding of the professional creative sector."
MAP apprentice Yefe added: "I don’t know anyone else who gets the opportunities I do. There are so many skilled people here to learn from, and it’s all in one place.”
After the completion of this million-pound refurbishment, which focuses on restoring the first and second floors of Hope Foundry, MAP Charity aims to renovate the ground floor and create new public spaces in 2023.