£680,000 lottery windfall to build new community centre in New Wortley

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A NEW community centre is set to be built in a deprived area of Leeds after lottery chiefs granted more than £600,000 of funding.

Work is expected to start on the new community centre off Tong Road at New Wortley in July after the Big Lottery Fund yesterday agreed to plough £686,000 into the project.

Community leaders in New Wortley also hope to renovate the existing dilapidated community centre and run it alongside the new centre.

The move would double capacity of services provided by New Wortley Community Association, which is independently run.

The new centre will feature new facilities including a job club, youth group, fitness classes, housing and multi-agency surgeries, lunch clubs and residents’ association meetings. The extra space will mean social enterprise businesses will have their own dedicated space to improve current arrangements and increase income and volunteering opportunities.

Community leader Bill Graham said: “Hopefully this new building is something that can be a catalyst to change people’s lives for the better in New Wortley.

“New Wortley is an area that has got a lot of issues with drink, drugs, mental health and chronic health conditions. Life expectancy in New Wortley is 10 to 12 years less than in neighbouring areas in west Leeds. It’s an area of Leeds that is quite often forgotten about and overlooked. The vote of confidence from the lottery, being willing to put that level of investment in, is terrific for New Wortley. We are staring to focus a lot of attention on New Wortley.”

A celebration event was being held at the old New Wortley Community Centre at 4.30pm today to celebrate the lottery windfall.