New lease of life for empty Leeds home

Dennis Robbins with project manager Danny Dickinson from Gipsil in the house on Robb Street.
Dennis Robbins with project manager Danny Dickinson from Gipsil in the house on Robb Street.
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An empty home that has been an eyesore for a Beeston community for more than ten years is being brought back to life by the Hunslet Club.

The Hunslet Club provide vocational training in construction to teenagers aged 14-16.

Workshops include bricklaying, plumbing and plastering, but the youngsters struggle to get on-site experience they crucially need to further their careers.

The club’s new community homes project is helping to give young people on-site experience and help increase their chances of success when applying for jobs.

Dennis Robbins, the chief executive of The Hunslet Club, has praised their efforts and said:“Workshops are great but at the end of the day everything gets put away the benefit of this project is they get that satisfaction that their work is there forever.

“We are trying to make them more employable and whilst doing so help them achieve something they are proud of.”

The project has received support from Leeds’ Empty Homes Doctor and Gipsil, a social enterprise undertaking a similar project in East Leeds.

With over 2,000 members of the club, the aim of the project is to feed the benefits of refurbishing empty homes back into the community.

Once the house is inhabitable the club plans to rent the three bedroom property to a member at an affordable housing rate.

Local councillor Angela Gabriel added: “The house was so neglected it was a blot on the landscape but this project is so great.

“It provides practical life experience, brings the house back into the community and will create affordable rented housing in a really nice area.”

Dennis hopes the property will be ready for tenants within the next five weeks.

MP Rachel Reeves.

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