Festival spirit as new Leeds hub opens

VALUABLE RESOURCE: The new community centre building in Tong Road, New Wortley.
VALUABLE RESOURCE: The new community centre building in Tong Road, New Wortley.
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New Wortley Community Centre is officially opening its new building next month to co-incide with the annual local gala.

The much-anticipated project has been championed by New Wortley Community Association and won £686,000 of funding from The Big Lottery.

The new building was designed and built in collaboration with students from the Leeds Beckett Universities Project Office and has recently won a global 2017 Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Award.

Emma Walker, who runs a free-to-join business forum at the centre, said: “The project has been seven years in the making, and although we opened the doors to the new centre last year, we are officially opening the new building as part of New Wortley Festival. In the spirit of this being community-led project the new centre will be opened by members of New Wortley community, both young and old, who will benefit from this great new resource.”

She added the new building is now a “stand out landmark” on Tong Road route and “has already gained much attention from its distinctive look and presence on the edge of the road”.

New Wortley Community Association, which owns the centre, is a charity founded and run by members of the local community. The staff and volunteers work with partner organisations to help residents improve their quality of life and raise aspirations.

Miss Walker said that in the last 12 months, more than 20 locals have found employment after volunteering at the centre. The hub provides activities including volunteering, adult education and health and wellbeing. Projects include an offender support scheme managed by Ken Denton, pictured.